What does the Inspector do?

    The Inspector is responsible for reviewing the operations of the ICAC, the Office for Public Integrity and Ombudsman SA.

    These integrity bodies have very strong powers under the law. This means they can do things like execute search warrants, request evidence and interview witnesses. They are also independent from political or government influence.

    The Inspector’s role is to make sure these powers are being exercised properly.

    Each year, the Inspector is required to undertake an annual review that looks at whether each of these agencies has adhered to their legislative requirements and exercised their powers appropriately.

    A similar role was previously carried out by the ICAC Reviewer.

    What's the difference between the ICAC Reviewer and the Inspector?

    The ICAC Reviewer previously undertook a similar role to the Inspector by making sure ICAC was held accountable and publishing annual reviews.

    In 2021, the Office for Public Integrity and the ICAC were split into two different independent agencies. As part of these changes to the law, a new role of Inspector was created with a broader range of powers and functions.

    This includes things like requiring the production of documents and summoning a person to appear before the Inspector at an examination to give evidence. The Inspector now also reviews the operations of Ombudsman SA.

    The Inspector replaced the ICAC Reviewer in December 2022.  

    For this particular review, the Inspector is only reviewing historical issues related to ICAC and the OPI.

    Why is the Inspector looking so far back?

    The ICAC was established nearly a decade ago in September 2013. Since then, there have been significant changes to the legislation, but the primary objectives of the law haven’t changed.

    It is important that there is an appropriate balance between the public interest in exposing corruption, misconduct and maladministration in public administration, and avoiding undue prejudice to a person’s reputation.

    In this review, the Inspector will be looking back at ICAC with a fresh perspective to examine this balance, and make sure it is still appropriate.

    What does 'undue prejudice' mean?

    Under the law, the Inspector’s first Annual Review must consider whether undue prejudice to the reputation of any person was caused by the ICAC.

    This could mean someone’s reputation has been unfairly impacted by their involvement in an ICAC investigation, or an OPI assessment process.  

    While you may feel strongly that you have been unfairly impacted, the Inspector will ultimately make the final decision. They will then decide whether there are further actions that can be taken to alleviate the impacts on your reputation. This will take place on a case-by-case basis.

    What can the Inspector do if they find someone's reputation was unfairly impacted historically?

    During their review, if the Inspector finds undue prejudice was caused to someone’s reputation by the ICAC, they can do a few things:

    • Publish a statement that will help to alleviate that prejudice.
    • Recommend ICAC pay compensation to the person affected.
    • Make recommendations to the Attorney-General about reimbursing the person’s legal costs (as ex gratia payments).

    This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    How will my submission be used?

    The information you provide in your submission will be used to inform the Inspector’s first Annual Review. Where possible, the information published in the review will be de-identified.

    While you can provide a submission without including your personal details, we ask that you do share them with us so we can follow up if we need more information.

    If you remain anonymous, we may not be able to contact you with updates or outcomes either.