The Hon Stephen Charles QC has argued for reform of Victoria’s Independent Broad Based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) to include investigation of misconduct in public office including investigating the conduct of Ministers. Its present limited powers are in stark contrast with those of the NSW ICAC.
“The ICAC’s jurisdiction is very widely expressed and it is entitled to investigate ‘any allegation or complaint that, or any circumstances which, in the Commissioner’s opinion imply that … corrupt conduct … may have occurred, may be occurring or may be about to occur.’
The ICAC is plainly entitled to investigate an allegation amounting to misconduct in public office, including by a minister. The ICAC is also required, as far as practicable, to direct its attention to serious and systematic corrupt conduct.”
IBAC on the other hand is hamstrung by the requirement that it “must not conduct an investigation … unless it is reasonably satisfied that the conduct is serious corrupt conduct.”