Federal ICAC case strong, despite anti-bribery measures

Anti-corruption processes across key federal entities, led by the Australian Federal Police, have been enhanced in recent years in response to major foreign bribery cases. But no matter how good these measures are, they do little to weaken the case for a federal ICAC.

Last week saw a flurry of new reports of public servants caught doing the wrong thing.

On Thursday the country’s newest independent corruption fighter, South Australia’s independent commissioner against corruption Bruce Lander, announced six charges against the former manager of the state’s Interpreting and Translating Centre, who is alleged to have profited from inside information. Lander also revealed a woman faces an abuse of public office charge as well as 233 counts of theft and 114 counts of dishonest dealing with documents, after a separate investigation.

Meanwhile in Sydney, a former Department of Agriculture employee was charged with two corruption offences in relation to a consultancy he established, only a few hours after a very remorseful Canberra public servant was sentenced by a local magistrate for using his employer’s credit card improperly.

It continued on Friday, although the theme changed to public officials indulging in criminality on their own time. A senior executive from the Australian Government Solicitor’s office pled guilty to drug dealing charges and a Defence employee was sentenced for possessing child pornography, while the ACT Supreme Court dealt with a senior manager from Airservices Australia who used fake businesses to defraud $380,000 from the tax office.

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