Undetected and unchecked corruption in the public sector can cause serious damage including:
- undermining public trust in government
- wasting public resources and money
- causing injustice through advantaging some at the expense of others
- inefficiencies in operations
- reputational damage which makes it difficult to recruit and retain quality staff or obtain best value in tender processes. It may also be more difficult or attract business investment, adversely affecting prosperity.
Globally, the World Economic Forum has estimated that the cost of corruption is about US$2.6 trillion a year. The impacts of corruption disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people in society. Widespread corruption deters investment, weakens economic growth and undermines the rule of law.
In NSW, the ICAC works to prevent corruption before it occurs and provides guidance and advice on what public officials can do to prevent corruption and how to manage specific corruption risk functions.