The restructured Independent Commission Against Corruption has now commenced operations, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today.
The Hon Peter Hall QC was appointed as the inaugural Chief Commissioner of the ICAC, with Patricia McDonald SC and Stephen Rushton SC both appointed as Commissioners.
Bruce McClintock SC was appointed as Inspector of the ICAC on 1 July.
“The NSW Government has zero tolerance for corruption, and today marks the beginning of a new era for NSW’s anti-corruption agency,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The reconstituted ICAC will have stronger powers to investigate, expose and prevent corruption.”
The restructure of the ICAC was one of a number of recommendations made by a bipartisan and unanimous report of the Parliamentary Committee on the ICAC.
In order to implement these changes and form the new ICAC, amendments were made to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988. These include:
· The ICAC will be restructured as a three-member Commission with a Chief Commissioner and two part-time Commissioners;
· The ICAC’s power to conduct public inquiries must be authorised by the Chief Commissioner and at least one other Commissioner;
· A CEO will manage the day to day operations of ICAC;
· The new Commission will be required to publish guidelines relating to public inquiries that ICAC staff and Counsel Assisting the ICAC, must follow;
· Before making an adverse finding about a person in a report, the ICAC and ICAC Inspector must give affected persons a reasonable opportunity to respond and, include a summary of this response in the report where requested; and
· The ICAC will be able to gather evidence that may be admissible in a criminal prosecution after the completion of its investigations where requested.
The Premier thanked Acting Commissioner, the Hon Reginald Blanch AM QC, for his outstanding leadership of the ICAC following the announced restructure.