Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Part 5—Referring corruption issues

Part 5 Referring corruption issues

Division 1 Voluntary referrals

32   Any person may refer corruption issue

             (1)  Any person may refer a corruption issue or provide other information about a corruption issue to the Commissioner.

             (2)  The Commissioner may request the referral or information to be:

                     (a)  given in a particular way; or

                     (b)  accompanied or supported by further information.

Division 2 Mandatory referrals

33   Mandatory referral—Commonwealth agencies other than intelligence agencies

             (1)  An agency head who becomes aware of a corruption issue must refer the issue to the Commissioner if:

                     (a)  the issue concerns the conduct of a person who is, or was, a staff member of the agency while that person is, or was, a staff member; and

                     (b)  the agency head suspects that the issue could involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic.

             (2)  The agency head must state in the referral the reasons why the agency head suspects that the issue could involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic.

             (3)  Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an intelligence agency.

34   Mandatory referral—intelligence agencies

             (1)  The head of an intelligence agency who becomes aware of a corruption issue must refer the issue to the IGIS or the Commissioner if:

                     (a)  the issue concerns the conduct of a person who is, or was, a staff member of the intelligence agency while that person is, or was, a staff member; and

                     (b)  the head suspects that the issue could involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic.

             (2)  The head must state in the referral the reasons why the head suspects that the issue could involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic.

             (3)  If the head refers the issue to the Commissioner, the head must, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the IGIS.

             (4)  If the head refers the issue to the IGIS, and the IGIS is satisfied that the issue is likely to involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic, the IGIS must refer the issue to the Commissioner.

35   Mandatory referral—Public Interest Disclosure Act disclosures

             (1)  This section applies if a staff member of a Commonwealth agency (the PID officer ), in the course of performing or exercising functions or powers under Division 1 or 2 of Part 3 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (including as a delegate), becomes aware of a corruption issue that:

                     (a)  concerns the conduct of a person who is, or was, a staff member of the agency while that person is, or was, a staff member; and

                     (b)  the PID officer suspects could involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic.

             (2)  The PID officer must refer the corruption issue to:

                     (a)  in the case of a Commonwealth agency other than an intelligence agency—the Commissioner; or

                     (b)  in the case of an intelligence agency—the IGIS or the Commissioner.

Corruption issues that relate to intelligence agencies

             (3)  If the PID officer refers a corruption issue that relates to an intelligence agency to the Commissioner, the PID officer must, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the IGIS.

             (4)  If the PID officer refers a corruption issue that relates to an intelligence agency to the IGIS, and the IGIS is satisfied that the issue is likely to involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic, the IGIS must refer the issue to the Commissioner.

Notification to discloser

             (5)  If the PID officer became aware of the corruption issue as a result of an internal disclosure made under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 , the PID officer must, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the discloser of the PID officer’s referral of the issue under this section.

36   Mandatory referral—secrecy protection provisions

                   The obligation to refer a corruption issue under this Division applies despite any secrecy provision (other than an exempt secrecy provision).

37   Mandatory referral—exceptions

             (1)  A person is not required to refer a corruption issue under this Division if:

                     (a)  the person believes on reasonable grounds that the Commissioner or the IGIS, as relevant, is already aware of the issue; or

                     (b)  a determination made by the Commissioner provides that referral is not required because of the kind of corruption issue involved or the circumstances in which it arises.

             (2)  The Commissioner may, in writing, determine corruption issues and circumstances for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b).

             (3)  A determination under subsection (2) is not a legislative instrument.

38   Mandatory referral—timing and information requirements

Timing requirements

             (1)  A person who is required to refer a corruption issue under this Division must do so as soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware of the issue or within such later time as is allowed by the Commissioner.

Information requirements

             (2)  A person who is required to refer a corruption issue under this Division must include with the referral all information relevant to the issue that is in the person’s possession or control at the time the referral is made.

             (3)  If the person subsequently becomes aware of any further information that is relevant to the issue, the person must give the further information to the recipient of the referral as soon as reasonably practicable.

Exceptions to information requirements

             (4)  A person is not required to provide information under this section if:

                     (a)  the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the recipient of the referral is already aware of the information; or

                     (b)  the recipient of the referral has advised the person that the provision of information about the corruption issue is not required.

Note:          This section has effect subject to section 236 (Attorney-General’s certificate in relation to international relations).

Division 3 Other matters relating to referrals

39   Effect of referral on continued actions

                   The referral of a corruption issue under this Part does not:

                     (a)  subject to any direction to stop taking action given by the Commissioner under subsection 43(1), prevent a Commonwealth agency or the IGIS from continuing to take any action in relation to conduct that is the subject of the issue; or

                     (b)  affect the obligations of the agency or the IGIS in relation to that conduct under any other law.