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.