Originally published by Sky News on 3 November 2020.

Former Assistant Commissioner to the NSW ICAC Anthony Whealy QC says the whole role of an anti-corruption body like the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission is to uncover corruption and “expose it publicly”.

It comes as Attorney-General Christian Porter unveiled the Morrison government’s plan for the integrity commission which he described as having powers greater than a royal commission.

However, the Commonwealth Integrity Commission does not give its public sector corruption division the discretion to hold public hearings. “The role of an anti-corruption body is to uncover serious corruption and expose it publicly that’s what its job is,” Mr Whealy told Sky News.

“It’s given the power to do that by the conferral of coercive powers and other powers which the police don’t have, which the director of public prosecutions doesn’t have.

“The one thing it is not, it is not a gatherer of evidence for prosecutions. Coercive powers enable the anti-corruption commission to force people to answer questions that may incriminate them, that’s not something the police can do.

“These strong powers that the anti-corruption body has forces people to give the answer and thus to expose the truth. That’s an extraordinary power but there’s a tradeoff for it. “Whatever the answer is, whatever admission is made, that cannot be used against me in any criminal proceedings.”