Statement regarding the ICAC and prosecutions

Friday 20 June 2014

To be attributed to the ICAC Commissioner, the Hon Megan Latham

"A number of recent media reports and editorial comments may have created an incorrect public perception in relation to prosecutions resulting from investigations conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

"The ICAC does not conduct prosecutions, but refers matters to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration of prosecution action.

"A public perception may have developed that prosecutions are unlikely to result from ICAC investigations and that significant sentences are unlikely to be imposed if prosecutions do result.

"This is despite the fact that, as recently as yesterday, Glen Lapham (Operation Jarek) was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment on charges arising from an ICAC investigation, Jacqueline Verdeyen (Operation Jarek) was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment and the judge sentencing former CEO of Sydney Ferries, Geoff Smith, (Operation Argyle) announced that he was considering imposing a sentence of two years' imprisonment.

"There are currently 22 people appearing before courts in NSW as a result of referrals to the DPP from the ICAC.

"In the last 30 months, in addition to the three specific cases referred to above, 32 people have pleaded guilty or been found guilty of charges arising from ICAC investigations. Of those 32 people, four people have been sentenced to full-time imprisonment, five people have been sentenced to imprisonment to be served by way of home detention, and eight people have been sentenced to imprisonment but had the execution of that sentence suspended on condition they enter into a good behaviour bond.

"In order to deal with the public perception about ICAC-related prosecutions, the Commission is revising how information about prosecutions is presented on its website. While the information is currently available on the website under entries for each ICAC past investigation, the Commission intends to provide it in a more readily accessible table form.

"The Commission notes that the Parliamentary Committee on the ICAC has announced that it will inquire into the issue of prosecutions arising from ICAC referrals. The Commission is happy to participate and assist in considering ways in which this process might be improved, and has advised the Committee that it will be making a submission to their inquiry.

"The Commission will not be making further comment at this stage."

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