The government has today reintroduced a bill to Parliament aimed at delivering greater transparency to South Australia’s anti-corruption watchdog, a key election commitment made by the Marshall Liberal Government to ensure open and transparent Government.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the Government has redrafted the Bill to reflect issues raised during the recent Crime and Public Integrity Policy Committee inquiry.
“This is about giving the public greater insight into the operations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption when investigating potential issues of serious or systemic maladministration and misconduct in public administration,” Ms Chapman said.
“Allowing the ICAC to hold public hearings in these matters would greatly enhance the public’s faith in the public sector.
“Of the eight recommendations raised by the Crime and Public Integrity Policy Committee, the Government has accepted seven either in full or in part.”
Attorney-General Chapman said amendments to reflect the committee’s recommendations included changes that would ensure all people giving evidence would have the right to legal representation at hearings, and expressly state that a person may refuse to answer a question, provide information or produce a document only if it would tend to incriminate the person of an offence.
“The Government has also included a requirement that the Commissioner publish a statement of reasons on the ICAC website and in a newspaper setting out why it’s in the public interest to hold a public hearing in relation to a specific matter,” Ms Chapman said
“If passed, these changes will give South Australians a greater understanding of the work being undertaken by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.”