ICAC resources for Public Officers
The University is a Public Authority under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (SA) (the ICAC Act).
You are a Public Officer under the ICAC Act if you are an employee (even if you are seconded to another organisation), an officer of the University, a titleholder, a volunteer, a consultant or a contractor providing services to the University.
Obligations of Public Officers
Our decisions and conduct as Public Officers must always be ethical and lawful and be based on sound and defensible principles.
Public Officers have a mandatory obligation to report matters they reasonably suspect to involve corruption, or serious or systemic misconduct or maladministration in public administration to the Office for Public Integrity (OPI).
If you form a reasonable suspicion that some type of prohibited conduct may have occurred, you must report that conduct as soon as practicable. Reports by Public Officers can be made online.
The Commissioner publishes Directions and Guidelines which set out the reporting obligations of Public Officers.
ICAC and other reporting obligations
Your obligation to report to OPI does not replace any other obligation to report or any internal policy or procedure – it sits alongside them.
If you become aware of conduct that should be reported under an internal University policy or procedure - for example, research misconduct, academic integrity issues, non-compliance with a law, workplace conflict, bullying or harassment, a workplace health and safety issue, or a data breach – you must also consider whether the nature of the conduct is something that should be reported to OPI.
The OPI provides online induction courses which Public Officers are invited to access via the ICAC Online Learning Portal. The first time you access the portal, you will be required to create an account. Once logged in you can enrol into either of the following courses:
- ICAC Induction for Public Officers
- ICAC Conflicts of Interest Course
ICAC Induction for Public Officers
The 'ICAC Induction for Public Officers' course provided by the OPI will help you to understand:
- The role and functions of the South Australian Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC);
- The obligation that all public officers have to report certain types of conduct to the Office for Public Integrity (OPI)
- key terminology used in the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (ICAC Act) and the ICAC Directions and Guidelines
- who is a public officer and a public authority
- what constitutes corruption, misconduct and maladministration
- the types of conduct that should be reported to the OPI
- your reporting obligations
The course will take approximately 30 - 40 minutes to complete.
ICAC Conflicts of Interest Course
Conflicts of interest can pose a significant risk to honest, open, independent and impartial public administration.
As a public officer it is possible that at some point you will be faced with a conflict of interest. It is important that you are able to identify and disclose any conflicts of interest that arise for you.
The ‘ICAC Conflicts of Interest Course' offered by OPI will help you to understand:
- What a conflict of interest is
- Why and how conflicts of interest arise
- The different types of conflicts of interest
- How to identify and disclose conflicts of interest
- How conflicts of interest can be managed and monitored.
The course will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
The following video resources are provided by ICAC to inform Public Officers.
Mandatory Reporting Obligation
Public Officers have a mandatory obligation to report matters they reasonably suspect to involve corruption, or serious or systemic misconduct or maladministration in public administration to the Office for Public Integrity.
What is a Reasonable Suspicion?
You must have a rational basis for the suspicion, but it doesn’t need to be enough for you to believe that the events actually happened or existed. To form a reasonable suspicion, you need to properly consider the available facts and make an individual judgement call.
What is serious or systemic?
Public officers are only required to report misconduct and maladministration to the OPI if they consider it to be serious or systemic - that is - if it had the potential to undermine confidence in, or have serious implications for, the Public Authority or public administration in general.
What is corruption?
Corruption in public administration includes offences such as bribery, threats against Public Officers, demanding benefit on the basis of public office and offences relating to the appointment to public office. It also includes offences committed by a Public Officer whilst acting in his or her capacity as a Public Officer.
What is Misconduct?
Misconduct in public administration includes conduct of a Public Officer that breaches a code of conduct, or other misconduct committed by a Public Officer in their capacity as a Public Officer.
What is Maladministration?
Maladministration in public administration includes conduct of a Public Officer or practice, policy or procedure of a Public Authority that results in irregular and unauthorised use of public money or conduct of a Public Officer involving substantial mismanagement in or in relation to the performance of official functions.
What can happen if I don't comply?
There are penalties under the ICAC Act for:
- preventing or hindering someone from making a complaint
- making false or misleading statements or reports
- directly or indirectly disclosing information about a complaint or investigation without formal authorisation from ICAC
- facilitating the publication of information about a complaint or investigation without formal authorisation from ICAC
Failure to comply with reporting obligations under the Act could also be considered misconduct.