ICAC decreases time to assess matters by 24% despite increase in complaints and reports

Friday 28 October 2011

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has continued to improve efficiencies in the time taken to deal with matters received at the Assessments stage during 2010-2011 and increased the number of investigation reports presented to Parliament.

In its Annual Report 2010-11, furnished to Parliament today, the Commission reported that during the year it continued to reduce the time taken to finalise matters in the Assessments Section, which receives all initial complaints and reports, by 24%, compared to a 16% reduction in the previous year. This was despite an increase in the number of matters received from 2,710 in 2009-10 to 2,867 in 2010-11. The Commission furnished 12 investigation reports to Parliament in 2010-11, compared to nine in 2009-10, and made corrupt conduct findings against 26 people.

The Commission also reported that it made 110 corruption prevention recommendations, compared to 45 the previous year. In addition to the 93 corruption prevention recommendations made following investigations of corrupt conduct, 17 recommendations were made as a result of the Commission's first major corruption prevention-based public inquiry on lobbying practices in NSW.

A further 20 recommendations were also made following an examination of the corruption risks attached to Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Commission introduced fee-free corruption prevention training during the year and delivered 89 sessions which, along with 50 speaking engagements, meant the ICAC reached an audience of over 3,700 people.

"In addition to our investigative work, 2010-11 has been a significant year for our corruption prevention work," Commissioner the Hon David Ipp AO QC said. "Some legislative changes have been made since the report into lobbying was released, including the abolition of success fees. There have also been substantial changes made to legislation governing Part 3A processes following the release of that paper."

Other major Commission highlights and achievements from 2010-11 include:

• commencing 66 preliminary investigations, and 15 full investigations
• completing 93% of full investigations within 12 months, which exceeds the target of 90%
• conducting nine public inquiries over 65 days (12 were conducted over 70 days in the previous year)
• conducting 130 compulsory examinations, in which Commission lawyers acted as counsel in 126, compared to 124 compulsory examinations in 2009-10, in which ICAC lawyers acted as counsel in 18
• conducting two regional and rural outreach visits to New England and Queanbeyan, at which 437 people participated in training, workshops and other events.

During 2010-11, the Commission recommended that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions be sought with respect to the prosecution of 16 people, and recommended to relevant public sector agencies that disciplinary action be taken against 11 individuals.

Annual Report 2010-11

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