All public hearings by NSW ICAC in the last 10 years have made findings of corrupt conduct or wrongdoing, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity.
Analysis of annual reports and investigation reports by NSW ICAC show that the claims of reputational damage are overstated, and that public hearingsexpose corruption.
The analysis finds:
· NSW ICAC has held 32 public hearing since 2012, and in all 32 hearings corrupt conduct findings or referrals to the DPP were made
· All state integrity commissions are able to hold public hearings in the public interest, except for SA and Victoria
· Only Victoria’s IBAC is subject to the “exceptional circumstances” test for public hearings
“Public hearings expose corruption. Far from wrecking reputations, public hearings shine light on corruption and lead to corrupt conduct findings,” said the Hon Anthony Whealy KC, the Chair of the Centre for Public Integrity.
“NSW ICAC can hold public hearings when it is in the public interest. They have used them to bring more evidence and witnesses forward, ultimately leading to corrupt people being found out,” said Mr Whealy
“The exceptional circumstances test will inhibit the NACC’s ability to investigate and expose corruption. Our research shows the public interest test in NSW does not lead to reputations being damaged. It should be adopted nationally,” said Mr Whealy.