Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Part 1—Preliminary

Part 1 Preliminary

   

1   Short title

                   This Act is the National Integrity Commission Act 2017 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 and 2 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Sections 3 to 180

The day after the day on which the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated under an Act to the Department in which this Act is administered for payment to the National Integrity Commission.

 

3  Schedule 1

At the same time as the provisions covered by table item 2.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3   Objects of Act

             (1)  The objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to facilitate the investigation of corruption issues that relate to a minister, a parliamentarian, a former parliamentarian, a Commonwealth agency, an employee of a Commonwealth agency or a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 or any other public official; and

                     (b)  to facilitate the investigation of alleged corrupt conduct involving a minister, a parliamentarian, a former parliamentarian, a Commonwealth agency, an employee of a Commonwealth agency or a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 or any other public official; and

                     (c)  to enable criminal offences to be prosecuted, and civil penalty proceedings to be brought, following those investigations; and

                     (d)  to maintain and improve the integrity of employees of Commonwealth agencies and persons employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 ; and

                     (e)  to enhance the integrity of ministers, parliamentarians and former parliamentarians.

             (2)  To assist in achieving the objects in paragraphs (1)(a) to (d), this Act establishes the office of the National Integrity Commissioner.

             (3)  To assist in achieving the objects in paragraphs (1)(d) and (e), this Act establishes the office of the Independent Parliamentary Advisor.

4   Saving of powers, privileges and immunities

                   This Act does not affect the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of the Parliament, and of the members and committees of each House.

5   Application of Act

                   This Act applies both within and outside Australia and extends to every external Territory.

6   Definitions

                   In this Act:

                   applicable code of conduct means:

                     (a)  in the case of a minister:

                              (i)  a ministerial code of conduct imposed by the Prime Minister on his or her ministers; or

                             (ii)  a ministerial code of conduct:

                                        (A)  prescribed by the regulations; or

                                        (B)  adopted by resolution of the House of which the minister is or was a member;

                                   for the purposes of this definition;

                     (b)  in the case of a parliamentarian (including a minister)—a code of conduct for parliamentarians:

                              (i)  prescribed by the regulations; or

                             (ii)  adopted by resolution of the House of which the parliamentarian is or was a member;

                            for the purposes of this definition.

Assistant Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner means a person appointed under section 185 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 as an Assistant Integrity Commissioner.

Assistant National Integrity Commissioner means a person appointed under section 144 as an Assistant National Integrity Commissioner.

Commission means the National Integrity Commission established under section 10.

Commonwealth agency means:

                     (a)  an Agency within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999 ; or

                     (b)  a department of the Parliament; or

                     (c)  a person or body holding office, or exercising power, under or because of the Constitution or a law of the Commonwealth; or

                     (d)  a body or organisation, whether incorporated or unincorporated, established for a public purpose:

                              (i)  by or under a law of the Commonwealth or of a Territory (other than the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory or Norfolk Island); or

                             (ii)  by the Governor-General; or

                            (iii)  by a minister.

confiscation proceeding means a proceeding under:

                     (a)  the Proceeds of Crime Act 1987 or the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ; or

                     (b)  a corresponding law within the meaning of either of those Acts;

but does not include a criminal prosecution for an offence under either of those Acts or a corresponding law.

corrupt conduct has the meaning given by section 7.

corruption issue has the meaning given by section 8.

criminal offence means an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory.

disciplinary offence includes any misconduct, irregularity, neglect of duty, breach of discipline or other matter that constitutes or may constitute grounds for disciplinary action under any law.

employee of a Commonwealth agency includes:

                     (a)  the head of the agency;

                     (b)  a temporary employee of the agency;

                     (c)  an independent contractor providing a service to or on behalf of the agency.

former parliamentarian means a former member of either House of the Parliament.

gift means a gift whether it is or is not registrable in accordance with a resolution or resolutions of a House of the Parliament.

government agency means:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth agency; or

                     (b)  a department of a State or Territory; or

                     (b)  a body (whether incorporated or not) established for a public purpose by or under a law of a State or Territory.

Independent Parliamentary Advisor means the person appointed under section 135 as the Independent Parliamentary Advisor.

independent parliamentary advisor functions has the meaning given by section 14.

integrity officer has the meaning given by section 11.

interest means an interest whether it is or is not registrable in accordance with a resolution or resolutions of a House of the Parliament.

Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner means the person appointed under section 175 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 as the Integrity Commissioner.

law enforcement integrity commissioner functions has the meaning given by section 13.

minister means a minister of state and includes a parliamentary secretary.

National Integrity Commission means the National Integrity Commission established under section 10.

National Integrity Commissioner means the person appointed under section 125 as the National Integrity Commissioner.

national integrity commissioner functions has the meaning given by section 12.

national law enforcement agencies means:

                     (a)  the Australian Federal Police; or

                     (b)  the Australian Crime Commission; or

                     (c)  any other Commonwealth agency that:

                              (i)  has a law enforcement function; and

                             (ii)  is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

parliamentarian means a member of either House of the Parliament.

parliamentary allowances means allowances (including allowances by way of salary) and entitlements (including superannuation entitlements) of parliamentarians under a law of the Commonwealth.

presiding officer means:

                     (a)  in relation to the Senate—the President of the Senate;

                     (b)  in relation to the House of Representatives—the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

public official means a person having public official functions or acting in a public official capacity, and includes but is not limited to any of the following:

                     (a)  the Governor-General (whether or not acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council);

                     (b)  a minister;

                     (c)  a parliamentarian;

                     (d)  a justice or judge of a court created by the Parliament or a person who, by virtue of a law of the Commonwealth, has the same status as a justice or judge of a court created by the Parliament;

                     (e)  a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 ;

                      (f)  an employee or a temporary employee of a Commonwealth agency, including:

                              (i)  the head of a Commonwealth agency; and

                             (ii)  an independent contractor providing a service to or on behalf of a Commonwealth agency;

                     (g)  a person declared by the regulations to be a public official for the purposes of this definition;

                     (h)  an employee of or any person otherwise engaged by or acting for or on behalf of, or in the place of, or as deputy or delegate of, any person or body described in any of paragraphs (a) to (g).

referred corruption issue means a corruption issue referred under section 19.

7   Meaning of corrupt conduct

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, corrupt conduct is:

                     (a)  any conduct of any person that adversely affects, or that could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the honest or impartial exercise of official functions by the Parliament, a Commonwealth agency, any public official or any group or body of public officials;

                     (b)  any conduct of a public official that constitutes or involves the dishonest or partial exercise of any of his or her official functions;

                     (c)  any conduct of a public official that constitutes or involves, or of a former public official that constituted or involved, a breach of public trust;

                     (d)  any conduct that perverts, or that is engaged in for the purpose of perverting, the course of justice;

                     (e)  any conduct of a public official that involves, or of a former public official that involved, the misuse of information or material that he or she acquired in the course of his or her official functions, whether or not for his or her benefit or for the benefit of any other person.

             (2)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), corrupt conduct that adversely affects, or that could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the exercise of official functions by the Parliament, a Commonwealth agency, any public official or any group or body of public officials includes any of the following conduct:

                     (a)  official misconduct (including breach of trust, fraud in office, nonfeasance, misfeasance, malfeasance, oppression, extortion or imposition);

                     (b)  bribery;

                     (c)  blackmail;

                     (d)  obtaining or offering secret commissions;

                     (e)  fraud;

                      (f)  theft;

                     (g)  perverting the course of justice;

                     (h)  embezzlement;

                      (i)  election bribery;

                      (j)  election funding offences;

                     (k)  election fraud;

                      (l)  treating;

                    (m)  tax evasion;

                     (n)  revenue evasion;

                     (o)  currency violations;

                     (p)  illegal drug dealings;

                     (q)  illegal gambling;

                      (r)  obtaining financial benefit by vice engaged in by others;

                      (s)  bankruptcy and company violations;

                      (t)  harbouring criminals;

                     (u)  forgery;

                     (v)  treason or other offences against the Sovereign;

                    (w)  homicide or violence;

                     (x)  matters of the same or a similar nature to any listed above;

                     (y)  any conspiracy or attempt in relation to any of the above.

             (3)  Conduct may amount to corrupt conduct under this section even though it occurred before the commencement of this subsection, and it does not matter that some or all of the effects or other ingredients necessary to establish such corrupt conduct occurred before that commencement and that any person or persons involved are no longer public officials.

             (4)  Conduct committed by or in relation to a person who was not or is not a public official may amount to corrupt conduct under this section with respect to the exercise of his or her official functions after becoming a public official.

             (5)  Conduct may amount to corrupt conduct under this section even though it occurred outside Australia.

             (6)  The specific mention of a kind of conduct in a provision of this section must not be regarded as limiting the scope of any other provision of this section.

             (7)  Despite subsections (1) to (6), conduct does not amount to corrupt conduct unless it could constitute or involve:

                     (a)  a criminal offence; or

                     (b)  a disciplinary offence; or

                     (c)  reasonable grounds for dismissing, dispensing with the services of or otherwise terminating the services of a public official; or

                     (d)  in the case of conduct of a minister or a parliamentarian—a substantial breach of an applicable code of conduct.

             (8)  For the purposes of paragraphs (7)(a), (b) and (c), it does not matter that proceedings or action for such an offence can no longer be brought or continued, or that action for such dismissal, dispensing or other termination can no longer be taken.

8   Meaning of corruption issue

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, a corruption issue is an issue whether a person who is, or has been, a public official:

                     (a)  has, or may have, engaged in corrupt conduct; or

                     (b)  is, or may be, engaging in corrupt conduct; or

                     (c)  will, or may at any time in the future, engage in corrupt conduct.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, an allegation, or information, may raise a corruption issue even if the identity of the person is unknown, is uncertain or is not disclosed in the allegation or information.