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Victoria’s peak anti-corruption body has trumpeted its results in its annual report released to parliament today.
The independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission’s outgoing foundation commissioner, Stephen O’Bryan, said the body was experiencing success in investigating public-sector corruption.
“From my appointment in early 2013, I have been pleased to see IBAC grow from being Australia’s newest anti-corruption agency to one which can be proud of its significant achievements,” Mr O’Bryan said.
The body has probed the Department of Education and Training’s failed Ultranet Project, exposing corruption, improper diversion of funds, conflict of interest and mismanagement at senior levels.
Mr O’Bryan also noted it was important to hold public hearings into corruption.
“Public hearings, along with our other investigative work, research and reports, are important tools for exposing corruption and informing the public sector and the community about the risks, impact and ways to prevent public-sector corruption, and police misconduct,” he said.
Investigations into police conduct constituted half of IBAC’s 46 active investigations in 2016/17.
Among them was Operation Ross, which probed the treatment of vulnerable people at Ballarat Police Station.
IBAC has also investigated illicit drug use by police ofﬁcers.
A special report detailed evidence of multiple police ofﬁcers being involved in the use, possession and trafﬁcking of illicit drugs — which is understood to have focused on police in Melbourne’s outer southeast.
IBAC has stated it undertook independent reviews of an additional 73 investigations conducted by Victoria Police.
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The 2016-2017 annual report states IBAC:
Tabled six special reports before parliament on operation and prevention activities;
Delivered 93 corruption-prevention initiatives;
As a result of investigations, made 47 formal recommendations for public-sector agencies to improve their systems, practices and controls;
Assessed almost 5000 allegations of suspected corruption or police misconduct resulting from complaints and notifications; and
Held corruption-prevention and integrity insights forums in Mildura and Wangaratta as part of engagement and outreach in regional Victoria.