WHAT IS THE CIC?* Most states and territories have some kind of anti-corruption agency but there is no broad-ranging body in operation at a federal level* The Commonwealth Integrity Commission will investigate corruption in the public sector, as well as the higher education and research sectors* It will absorb the existing Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity* At full capacity it is expected to have a staff of 172 and a budget, including the ACLEI, of almost $150 millionWHO WILL IT COVER?* The CIC will have two divisions* The law enforcement integrity division will cover officers from such agencies as federal police, Austrac, Home Affairs, regulatory bodies and the tax office* The public sector integrity division will cover parliamentarians and their staff, public service departments and agencies, parliamentary departments, Commonwealth companies and corporations, higher education providers and research bodies in receipt of government money and Commonwealth service providers and subcontractors* The government is also considering whether it should cover federal judgesWHAT POWERS WILL IT HAVE?* Compel people to give sworn evidence at hearings, with a maximum penalty of two years in jail for not complying* Compel people to provide information and produce documents – even if the information would incriminate the person- with a maximum penalty of two years in jail for not complying* Search people and their houses, or seize property (under warrant)* Arrest people* Tap phones and use other surveillance devices to investigate them* Confiscate people’s passports by court orderWHAT HAPPENS AFTER INVESTIGATIONS?* Evidence of corruption would be provided to federal prosecutors* If it is a minor disciplinary issue it would be referred back to the relevant entity* If there is no evidence of corrupt conduct the matter is finalised
The federal anti-corruption watchdog will be able to investigate parliamentarians and public servants with greater powers than a royal commission.