Icac Investigations Up 186% In 2009-10

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28th October 2010, 01:32pm - Views: 1809
ICAC investigations up 186% in 2009-10

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has reported a 186% increase in the number of full investigations it undertook in 2009-10 from the previous year, while holding more than double the number of public inquiries held in 2008-09.

In its Annual Report 2009-10, furnished to Parliament today, the Commission reported that it reduced the time taken to finalise matters in the Assessments Section by 16%. It also made corrupt conduct findings against 28 people and recommended that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions be sought with the prosecution of 24 individuals.

"The year 2009-10 has seen a surge in the amount of work undertaken by the ICAC," Commissioner the Hon David Ipp AO QC said. "We have introduced systems to make managing our processes more efficient, and we have been assisted by some welcome additional funding from the NSW Treasury. However, while this funding has been made permanent it is inadequate to enable the Commission to deal with its increased workload, which this Annual Report shows has been substantial. I therefore intend in 2010-11 to request more funds from Treasury for the coming year's allocation and forward estimates."

The Commission launched a major corruption-prevention based investigation during the year with the release of a discussion paper on lobbying, which led to an extensive public inquiry in the 2010-11 year. The ICAC also launched an online best practice toolkit, comprising 46 units, and covering 18 corruption prevention topics during the year and delivered 76 training sessions. The Commission also made 45 corruption prevention recommendations in 2009-10 arising from investigations.

Commissioner Ipp said that it was gratifying to see that the work of the Commission has continued to build on that begun when it commenced operations 21 years ago, and that the community's perception of the ICAC's work remains positive and strong. "Findings from the Commission's latest survey on community attitudes to the ICAC, which were released during 2009-10, show that the 95% of respondents believe that having the Commission is a good thing for the people of NSW," Commissioner Ipp said.

Major Commission highlights and achievements from 2009-2010 include:
* commencing 20 operations, compared to seven in 2008-09, thereby increasing the number of full investigations by 186%
* commencing 138 preliminary investigations, compared to 58 in the previous year
* conducting 12 public inquiries over 70 days, compared to seven over 28 days in 2008-09
* conducting 124 compulsory examinations, in which Commission lawyers acted as counsel in 118, compared to 33 examinations in 2008-09 in which ICAC lawyers acted as counsel in 31
* furnishing nine investigation reports to Parliament, and exceeding by 9% its target of completing 80% of investigation reports within three months of competing a public inquiry
* launching the Commission's first major corruption prevention-based investigation in many years, with the release of a discussion paper on lobbying
* launching an online best practice toolkit, comprising 46 units, and covering 18 corruption prevention topics
* delivering 76 training sessions, including 13 workshops for Local Aboriginal Land Councils on minimising corruption risks in land dealings, and developing two new workshops on corruption prevention in procurement.

During 2009-2010, the Commission conducted two regional and rural outreach visits to the Illawarra/Southern Highlands and the Central West, at which more than 470 people participated in training, workshops and other events. The full Annual Report 2009-10 can be downloaded from the ICAC website, www.icac.nsw.gov.au.

Contact: ICAC's Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, (02) 8281 5799 / (0417) 467 801


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