Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Committee fourth report

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WELLS (Rowville) (10:27:29) — Yesterday I was pleased to table the fourth report of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Committee, A Framework for Monitoring the Performance of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission. Effective performance measurement reporting systems are an essential part of transparent and accountable government. This is no less true for IBAC than for any other public institution. Indeed the need is far greater for an anti-corruption agency like IBAC, given its special role in ensuring Victoria’s confidence in the public sector and the considerable investigative powers it quite rightly possesses.Under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, the IBAC committee has the functions of monitoring and reviewing the performance of IBAC. Until now the committee has carried out these functions by reviewing relevant reports, conducting hearings on IBAC’s performance and undertaking relevant reviews and inquiries, and the most recent was on the whistleblower laws. For more than a decade, however, there have been calls for parliamentary oversight bodies to develop formal frameworks to monitor and assess the performance of anti-corruption agencies. For example, Transparency International has developed guidelines and measures to evaluate their performance. After five years in operation, the committee thought it timely to enhance its oversight work by developing a framework for a more systematic monitoring of IBAC based on best practice principles. To assist with this process, the committee engaged Professor A. J. Brown of Griffith University as a consultant.I will now go through an overview of the report. The report sets out a proposed performance monitoring and review framework, to be led and oversighted by the IBAC Committee, for ensuring the effective performance and accountability of IBAC. The framework draws on international best practice to develop a range of measures of IBAC’s performance across its legislative functions. It also draws on IBAC’s own measurement of its performance set out in its corporate plan 2015–18, recognising that the framework needs to support rather than hinder IBAC’s fulfilment of its responsibilities.The proposed framework provides rigorous criteria for assessing IBAC’s performance in the following main areas: investigating, exposing and addressing corrupt conduct and police misconduct; preventing corruption and informing the public sector and Victorians about that; impacting positively on levels of integrity and public trust in the public sector; ensuring IBAC’s accountability and integrity; ensuring that IBAC has effective governance; and monitoring IBAC’s legal and financial capacity.The committee recognises that the assessment of IBAC’s performance needs to take proper account of not only the activities it engages in but also their impact on corruption in Victoria. The report makes three recommendations. Firstly, that the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 be amended to require that the IBAC committee undertake a comprehensive review of IBAC’s performance every four years. Secondly, that the IBAC act and the Victorian Inspectorate Act 2011 be amended to ensure greater clarity about the monitoring and oversight roles of the Victorian Inspectorate. Thirdly, that the Victorian government support, and assist in the implementation of, the framework. As noted, the committee appreciates that the four-yearly review needs to take account of IBAC’s own systems for performance monitoring.

As chair of the committee, I would like to thank Professor Brown for his insights and expertise. I would also like to thank my committee colleagues, the deputy chair, the member for Footscray, the member for Prahran, the member for Gippsland South, the member for Mordialloc and Mr Simon Ramsay and Ms Jaclyn Symes in the Council, for their cooperative and bipartisan approach to the preparation of this report. Finally, I would like to thank the secretariat for their hard work: the executive officer, Ms Sandy Cook, the research officer, Dr Stephen James, and the committee administrative officer, Ms Justine Donohue. The committee looks forward to further developing and implementing this pioneering framework in the coming year, confident that it will strengthen the committee’s oversight and work and make a distinctive contribution to Victoria’s anti-corruption commission and its system.