NSWCCL is deeply concerned with the risk of corruption because, if not effectively checked, it threatens our democratic values and processes – including the rights and liberties of all people. We support a strong and effective ICAC, appropriately constrained by safeguards for individual liberties and rights that are compatible with operational effectiveness.
The investigation into Ms Berejiklian’s conduct was appropriate and we are pleased to see it reach a conclusion. Whilst it has taken considerable time for the ICAC to deliver its findings the Council believes that delays in the ICAC reporting should be addressed by increasing the ICAC's funding and resources, not by imposing arbitrary deadlines on the ICAC.
On Wednesday 28 June, the NSW government announced that it will introduce new laws requiring the ICAC to publish a set of “time standards” and report on its own performance in response to those standards.
Comments from Josh Pallas, President, NSW Council for Civil Liberties
“The ICAC is a force for good in NSW. The ICAC continues to enjoy strong community support and provides an important restraint on politicians and public officials from using their position for personal or party political reasons."
“The argument that ICAC destroys people’s reputations just doesn’t wash with me. People make choices about their behaviour and those choices, when exercised poorly, ruin reputations.”
“The delivery of ICAC’s findings today are welcome and overdue. When criticising ICAC’s delays, however, we must remember that it’s no secret that the ICAC has been calling for more funding to properly conduct itself with the fairness and high standard required. We hope that with the delivery of the findings today these criticisms are put to bed.”
“We note the government’s response to the ICAC Committee’s report yesterday. We’re pleased to see that the response leaves the power to set time standards in the hands of ICAC and not the government. The ICAC already has time standards in place. We continue to believe that it’s best to give them autonomy in their work without political inference from politicians.”
“Time will tell whether the new Commissioner can demonstrate that the ICAC can meet its own standards, and, if not, justify why it fails to do so. Time will also tell as to whether the increased to ICAC’s budget last year has assisted them in their work.”