Since its recent launch, the federal anti-corruption watchdog has received over 300 referrals. National Anti-Corruption Commissioner Paul Brereton revealed that 44 of these were obtained via their online system, with the current figures standing at 186 online submissions and 116 phone referrals. Notably, around 60 pertained to issues already highlighted in the media. The Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, and its director, Geoffrey Watson SC, however, have voiced concerns. Watson suspects that the reported number is inflated due to redundancies and minor issues, estimating that only 30 to 50 might be significant. Despite this, he acknowledges the essential nature of the integrity commission and commends the public’s active engagement as a sign of trust. The watchdog’s primary goal is to eliminate corruption involving commonwealth officials, including ministers, parliamentarians, and staff, as well as overseeing public servants and government contractors. The commission aims to grow its team and expand its operations across Australia.

This is a summary of “Corruption watchdog referrals skyrocket since launch” published in AAP on July 5, 2023, written by Paul Osborne and Alex Mitchell. Read it in full here.