The very first motion moved by the Greens in state parliament, in 2007, was to require the then Attorney General to request the Victorian Law Reform Commission to inquire into the best model for the establishment of an anti-corruption body for Victoria.
The current government promised that it would establish an anti-corruption body based closely on the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC). However, the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) currently falls short of the NSW model in a number of ways.
The Greens raised concerns at the outset that the IBAC was not created in an open and accountable way, lacked the powers of the NSW ICAC and other similar bodies and that the definition of corrupt conduct and serious corrupt conduct were fundamentally flawed.
The Greens will amend the IBAC legislation to enable IBAC to effectively investigate all levels of corruption in public office, including:
- broadening the definition of corrupt conduct along the lines of s8 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW) and removing the requirement that the IBAC should investigate only ‘serious corrupt conduct';
- not limiting the definition of corrupt conduct by tying it to indictable offences;
- that the public interest be the paramount consideration in IBAC exercising its functions;
- providing IBAC with the appropriate coercive powers necessary to conduct effective preliminary investigations; and
- amending s19 of the Protected Disclosure Act to allow disclosures relating to members of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council to be made to IBAC, and amending the IBAC legislation to include in IBAC’s jurisdiction breaches of misconduct in public office which would include breaches of MP and Ministerial Codes of Conduct.