What is corrupt conduct?

The ICAC can examine what is defined by the OLICAC as corrupt conduct. The corrupt conduct can be by engaged by a public official in or in certain circumstance a person who is not a public official.

The corrupt conduct may involve:

  • Dishonestly exercising official functions
  • Abusing official functions
  • Exercising official functions in a way that is not impartial.
  • Misusing information or material acquired in the course of official functions, or
  • Obstructing, interfering with or perverting the administration or the course of justice.

The conduct must amount to either a disciplinary offence or a criminal offence.

A disciplinary offense is any act or omission which forms the grounds for disciplinary action against the public official under any law. This could include, for example, a breach of the Leadership Code or any conduct that could result in termination of employment or removal from office.

A criminal offence is a more serious matter and may be punishable by a fine, or imprisonment, or both. In particular, The Criminal Code Act 1974, create criminal offences for crimes such as bribery, misappropriation, and abuse of office.


Examples of corrupt conduct by a public official

  • A public official who requests or accepts money, gifts, favours, hospitality or other benefits in exchange for providing preferential, partial or biased treatment, such as awarding a contract or a licence in return for a bribe payment.
  • A public official who provides preferential treatment to another person on the basis of a family or personal connection.
  • Unlawful use of public funds by a public official, such as misappropriation, theft or fraud from a public agency.
  • Where a public official abuses their position for personal gain.


Systemic corrupt conduct

Systemic corrupt conduct is misconduct that is widespread, suspected or may amount to a pattern.

Systemic corrupt conduct can:

  • undermine can institutions or public body’s effectiveness,
  • divert the institutions or public body’s purpose,
  • weaken the institutions or public body’s ability to achieve its purpose,
  • weaken public trust in the institution or public body.

The ICAC may investigate a matter even if no public official or public body is implicated.