ICAC reminds community leaders to help report corrupt conduct

Tuesday 29 November 2011

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has asked participants in a community leaders breakfast held on the Central Coast at Terrigal this morning to ensure that they report suspected corrupt conduct to the Commission.

Speaking at the breakfast, ICAC Deputy Commissioner Theresa Hamilton said that community leaders are important to agencies like the ICAC. "Agencies like the ICAC and the NSW Ombudsman's office, which is also present today, hope that if you or others identify or suspect public sector misconduct or maladministration, you will report it to the appropriate authority," Ms Hamilton told the audience.
"In fact, in the case of the ICAC, we rely upon reports from both public officers and members of the community to help us identify and expose NSW public sector corruption."

Ms Hamilton also spoke about the importance of the key role whistleblowers play in exposing public sector corruption. "The Commission is keen to ensure that those who make what is referred to now as a 'public interest disclosure' are afforded the guidance and support they need," she said.

"The Commission has established a Public Interest Disclosures Committee to offer guidance and assistance in instances where a whistleblower has broader concerns or needs beyond the scope of the complaint or investigation.

"The establishment of the committee in July coincided with the amendments to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994, which include increased protections for public sector employees and certain contractors who blow the whistle," Ms Hamilton said.
The ICAC Central Coast outreach visit this week will include workshops on public interest disclosures training (to be conducted by the NSW Ombudsman's office), corruption prevention in procurement, corruption prevention for managers, and a fact-finder workshop which will help agencies to conduct their own internal investigations.

State Government agencies attending the outreach activities include Central Coast Local Health District, Department of Attorney General and Justice, Communities NSW, NSW Police Force, Gosford Hospital, Fire & Rescue NSW, Department of Family and Community Services, WorkCover NSW, Department of Planning & Infrastructure, NSW Public Works, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Hunter TAFE, and the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils will also participate.

The ICAC outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. Previous visits have included to the Illawarra, the Central West, the Hunter, the Far West, the South East, the North Coast and New England. The Commission last visited the Central Coast in 2005.

Media enquiries: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801