Update: The advisory report on the provisions of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022 and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2022 was published on Thursday of last week. Read our statement here.
Read our submission to the inquiry here.
Read the final report from the inquiry here.
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the National Anti-Corruption Commission Legislation Committee's inquiry into the provisions of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022 and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2022, which seek to establish the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
NSWCCL has long advocated for the urgent need for a strong national anti-corruption body and has engaged with the various proposals for such a body over the last decade. In doing so we have built on our close observation of the NSW ICAC and engagement with numbers of reviews of that body; as well as various proposals for a national-anti-corruption body over the last decade.
NSWCCL welcomes this Bill and congratulates the Attorney-General and the Albanese Government for acting quickly to bring this long overdue and urgently needed Bill to the Australian Parliament for consideration and passage in this term of government.
NSWCCL's submission primarily relates to four aspects of the Bill:
- The NACC's power to hold public hearings.
- The NACC's jurisdiction in relation to investigating the corrupt conduct of third parties.
- The provisions dealing with claims of legal professional privilege.
- Funding for and oversight of the NACC.
The NSWCCL is broadly supportive of the Bill and the proposed design of the NACC. It incorporates most of the elements which we consider essential for a strong and effective national anti-corruption body.
We do, however, have some concerns with the Bill the most important of which is the imposition of an additional and significant constraint on the power of the NACC to hold public hearings even when the Commissioner is satisfied that a public hearing would be in the public interest. This is a surprising and disappointing departure from the position the Government strongly supported while in Opposition.
For more information, read our full submission.