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NSW Government Bulletin: Amendments to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988

09 May 2024

7 min read

#Government, #Corporate & Commercial Law

Published by:

Faith Zalm, Vishwa Shah

NSW Government Bulletin: Amendments to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988

On 19 March 2024, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment Bill 2024 (Bill) was passed by both houses of Parliament. The Bill amends the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (Act).


The Bill has introduced several amendments relating to:

  • the obligation of secrecy on those carrying out the Commission’s functions
  • whom recommendations must be given (and whom must respond)
  • establishing a procedure, where there is a recommendation for a House or both Houses of Parliament to take action to inform the Presiding Officer.

Obligation of secrecy – section 111

The changes to section 111 allow, where a direction is given to allow a person to divulge information, that the direction may specify that the person can make a record of the information or communicate it to another person and specify conditions or restrictions which apply (section 111(4A)). If such a direction is made, this limits the pass through provision to employees, which otherwise applies under subsection 5 (section 111(5A)).

Recommendations and responses – section 111E

The changes to section 111E affect the provision of recommendations to take action to reduce the likelihood of corrupt conduct. The recommendations are now required to be given to a relevant public authority or official, where that expression is defined as a public authority or a Minister of the Crown (subsection 4).

The previous expression public authority did not include a Minister of the Crown, the Parliament or its Presiding Officers and committees.

Where the relevant public authority or official is a public authority, the recommendation must also go to the Minister for the relevant public authority or official (subsection 1). The relevant public authority or official must make the implementation election (subsection 2) and provide the implementation report (subsection 3).

Informing the House(s) – section 111F

The changes to section 111F of the Act establishes a requirement for the Commission to provide a copy of recommendations to the Presiding Officer of one or both House’s (sub section 1) where there is a recommendation for a House or both Houses of Parliament to take action to reduce the likelihood of corrupt conduct.

The Presiding Officer must inform their House of Parliament of the received recommendation and their proposed response (sub section 2). Subsections (3) and (4) allow for referral of recommendation to a relevant parliamentary committee which must report back to the relevant House.

The amendments to section 111E and the introduction of section 111F arise from the Commission’s recommendations in Operation Keppel.

Importance of the amendments

The second reading speech highlights the need for the Commission to retain the flexibility needed to promote effective operation, including by imposition of appropriate and adapted secrecy provisions.

In expanding the definition of public authority, the Bill addresses a gap which expands the Commission’s powers to direct recommendations to the appropriate body.

The changes affecting the Houses ensure that law makers are informed and are required to respond as would be expected by the wider community.

Authors: Christine Jones & Faith Zalm 

In the media

Access to documents about Australia’s political history is fraught and inadequate. It needs to change
Australia has had its fair share of public record-keeping controversies in recent years. Some have been mere farce, as in the case of two formerly government-owned filing cabinets (containing classified documents) sold at auction in Canberra in 2018. The recent (and more grievous) failure of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to transfer 14 documents about Australia’s involvement in the 2003 Iraq War to the National Archives of Australia might also fit in this category (3 May 2024).  Read more here.

Cameras to enforce seatbelt law from July 1
Wearing a seatbelt will be enforced by existing mobile phone detection cameras from July 1 as the NSW Government bolsters efforts to counter the rising number of road fatalities across the state. Unlike when other new enforcement technologies have come into effect, there will be no grace period of warning letters after the NSW Parliament voted against starting seatbelt detection cameras in warning mode when enabling legislation was passed last year (5 May 2024).  Read more here.

In the courts and practice

Experienced barrister Tim Faulkner SC appointed to NSW Supreme Court
Experienced commercial barrister Tim Faulkner SC has been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW. Mr Faulkner has acted for some of the largest law firms in Australia in professional negligence cases and specialises in insurance and reinsurance, both in courts and arbitration. When he commences at the Supreme Court, Mr Faulkner will be a judge of the Common Law Division (2 May 2024). Read more here.


Celebrating women in local government
Nominations are now open for the 2024 Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government, which recognise the outstanding achievements and contribution of women in councils across NSW. The 17th annual awards will be presented on Tuesday 20 August 2024 during a ceremony at NSW Parliament, co-hosted by Minister for Local Government Ron Hoenig and Minister for Women Jodie Harrison. The Awards highlight and celebrate women’s excellence with awards recognising individuals and council programs across metropolitan and regional councils (3 May 2024). Read more here.

Applications open for NSW Government’s new LGBTIQ+ Advisory Council
The NSW Government is seeking applications for a new advisory council designed to improve understanding of issues affecting LGBTIQ+ people across the state.
Fulfilling an election commitment, the LGBTIQ+ Advisory Council will provide a mechanism for ongoing community consultation and contribute to the development of a NSW Government LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Strategy. The Advisory Council will provide ongoing advice to the NSW Government as it delivers on a range of initiatives and commitments designed to promote equality and inclusion for LGBTIQ+ communities (3 May 2024). Read more here.


Zonnevylle v Secretary, Department of Education [2024] NSWCATAP 69
APPEALS – whether time to file notice of appeal should be extended – whether leave to appeal should be granted – whether appellant demonstrated error on question of law or on any other ground.
Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997 (NSW); Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW); Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) (repealed); Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW); Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (NSW); Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 (NSW).

Wilbec Chatswood Pty Ltd v Willoughby City Council [2024] NSWLEC 1234
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – mixed use development – savings provisions retain previous controls in area identified for significant increases in density – how to understand desired future character – implications of letter of offer to enter a planning agreement relating to affordable housing – building height contravention – floor space ratio contravention.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, ss; Land and Environment Court Act 1979, s 39.


Proclamations commencing Acts;
Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2023 No 41 (2024-131) – published LW 26 April 2024

Regulation and other miscellaneous instruments
Criminal Records Amendment (Eligible Homosexual Offences) Regulation 2024 (2024-136) – published LW 3 May 2024
Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment (Demerit Points Reduction Trial) Regulation 2024 (2024-137) – published LW 3 May 2024
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Transport Oriented Development) Regulation 2024 (2024-134) – published LW 29 April 2024

Environmental Planning Instruments
Gloucester Local Environmental Plan 2010 (Map Amendment No 4) (2024-138) – published LW 3 May 2024
Great Lakes Local Environmental Plan 2014 (Map Amendment No 9) (2024-139) – published LW 3 May 2024
Greater Taree Local Environmental Plan 2010 (Map Amendment No 5) (2024-140) – published LW 3 May 2024
Liverpool Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Map Amendment No 8) (2024-141) – published LW 3 May 2024
State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) Amendment (Transport Oriented Development) 2024 (2024-135) – published LW 29 April 2024
Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No 94) (2024-142) – published LW 3 May 2024
Cumberland Local Environmental Plan 2021 (Amendment No 6) (2024-132) – published LW 26 April 2024
Port Macquarie-Hastings Local Environmental Plan 2011 (Map Amendment No 8) (2024-133) – published LW 26 April 2024

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

Published by:

Faith Zalm, Vishwa Shah

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