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Part 5—Public inquiries into corruption issues

Part 5 Public inquiries into corruption issues

Division 1 Introduction

37   Guide to this Part

This Division is about:

       (a)     how the National Integrity Commissioner conducts public inquiries into corruption issues; and

      (b)     the reporting required in relation to the conduct of a public inquiry.

Division 2 Conducting a public inquiry

38   National Integrity Commissioner may conduct public inquiry

                   The National Integrity Commissioner may, if he or she is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, conduct a public inquiry in relation to a corruption issue or issues.

Note:          Part 6 provides for particular powers that are available to the National Integrity Commissioner for the purposes of the public inquiry.

39   Publicising inquiry

             (1)  The National Integrity Commissioner must invite submissions on the corruption issue that is to be the subject of the public inquiry.

Note:          Subsection 76(1) provides certain protections for people who make submissions.

             (2)  The invitation must specify the closing date for submissions.

             (3)  If the National Integrity Commissioner receives a submission, he or she may, if satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, authorise it to be published on the National Integrity Commission’s website.

Division 3 Reporting

40   Report on public inquiry

Report and its contents

             (1)  After conducting a public inquiry, the National Integrity Commissioner must prepare a report on the inquiry.

             (2)  The report must set out:

                     (a)  the National Integrity Commissioner’s findings as a result of the public inquiry; and

                     (b)  the evidence and other material on which those findings are based; and

                     (c)  any action that the National Integrity Commissioner has taken, or proposes to take, under Part 7 in relation to the inquiry; and

                     (d)  any recommendations that the National Integrity Commissioner thinks fit to make and, if recommendations are made, the reasons for those recommendations.

Note:          Under section 157, the report must be tabled in each House of the Parliament.

Sensitive information

             (3)  The National Integrity Commissioner may exclude information from the report if the National Integrity Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the information is sensitive information; and

                     (b)  it is desirable in the circumstances to exclude the information from the report.

             (4)  In deciding whether to exclude information from the report prepared under subsection (3), the National Integrity Commissioner must seek to achieve an appropriate balance between:

                     (a)  the public interest that would be served by including the information in the report; and

                     (b)  the prejudicial consequences that might result from including the information in the report.

Supplementary report

             (5)  If, under subsection (4), the National Integrity Commissioner excludes information from a report prepared under subsection (1), the National Integrity Commissioner must prepare a supplementary report that sets out:

                     (a)  the information; and

                     (b)  the reasons for excluding the information from the report prepared under subsection (1).

41   Giving report to Prime Minister

                   The National Integrity Commissioner must give the Prime Minister:

                     (a)  the report prepared under subsection 40(1); and

                     (b)  if a supplementary report is prepared under subsection 40(5)—the supplementary report.

Note:          Section 157 provides that the Prime Minister must table a copy of the report prepared under subsection 40(1) in each House of the Parliament if a public hearing has been held in the course of the investigation to which the report relates. The Prime Minister is not required, however, to table a copy of a supplementary report under subsection 40(5) in each House of the Parliament.