National Anti-Corruption Commission and Australian businesses

The National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022 has been passed, the inaugural NACC appointments have been made, and the NACC will begin operations in mid-2023.

UPDATE: The National Anti-Corruption Commission Commencement Proclamation 2023 has fixed 1 July 2023 as the NACC commencement date.

The NACC will be an independent agency to prevent, detect, investigate and report on serious or systemic corruption in the Commonwealth public sector.

But any person (whether or not a public official) could be guilty of corrupt conduct. This includes private organisations that deal with public agencies.

Section 8(a) of the NACC Act defines “corrupt conduct” to include “any conduct of any person (whether or not a public official) that adversely affects, or that could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly:

(i) the honest or impartial exercise of any public official’s powers as a public official; or

(ii) the honest or impartial performance of any public official’s functions or duties as a public official…”.

Your policies should be reviewed to ensure your employees do not engage in corrupt conduct.

Businesses need to consider whether separate policies or codes of conduct in relation to bribery and corruption and/or receiving gifts and hospitality are necessary.

The Commissioner would only be able to commence an investigation (whether following a public complaint, agency referral or on their own initiative) in relation to a corruption issue that the Commissioner is of the opinion could involve serious or systemic corrupt conduct. This would include, but would not be limited to, conduct that could constitute a criminal offence—for example, the bribery, abuse of office and related offences contained in Part 7.6 of the Criminal Code.

If you found this article helpful, then subscribe to our news emails to keep up to date and look at our video courses for in-depth training. Use the search box at the top right of this page or the categories list on the right hand side of this page to check for other articles on the same or related matters.

David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Your Compliance Support Plan

We understand you need a cost-effective way to keep up to date with regulatory changes. Talk to us about our fixed price plans.