Media Releases

IBAC corruption prevention work reaches more Victorians with transition to online forums and events

Victoria's independent anti-corruption agency, IBAC, continued to prevent and expose public sector corruption and police misconduct this year with a shift to online forums and events, making them more accessible to all Victorians.

Tabled to Parliament today, IBAC's annual report outlines the agency’s performance for 2020/21 which included hosting and presenting at over 60 forums or speaking engagements, many of them online.

IBAC Commissioner, The Honourable Robert Redlich AM, QC said that IBAC's corruption prevention work is critical to bringing together key community and public sector stakeholders to raise awareness of public sector corruption and police misconduct issues.

"While COVID-19 impacted many parts of our organisation, one positive change was the use, and broad community and stakeholder acceptance, of online events and forums. This shift enabled us to reach more people and strengthened our ability to raise awareness of public sector corruption and misconduct, and ways to prevent it."

In 2020/21 IBAC also held 31 days of video streamed public hearings into allegations of serious corruption. This included high-profile hearings relating to the tendering, procurement and management of major contracts within V/Line and Metro Melbourne Trains, and allegations of serious corrupt conduct related to the planning and property development decisions at the City of Casey Council.

"Our video streamed public hearings reached over 30,000 viewers, providing greater access for Victorians to understand the impact of corruption", Commissioner Redlich said.

In 2020/21, IBAC commenced 14 investigations and preliminary inquiries, down from previous years due to the impact of resource constraints, the number of ongoing investigations at the commencement of the year and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In what proved to be a challenging year, IBAC's work conducting independent reviews of investigations carried out by the public sector and Victoria Police into allegations about misconduct and corruption was a critical part of IBAC's ability to prevent public sector corruption and police misconduct.

IBAC conducts independent reviews to determine whether complaint investigations conducted by a public sector agency or Victoria Police are thorough and fair. IBAC completed its highest number of reviews in five years, with a total of 92 reviews conducted this year.

IBAC's independent oversight of Victoria Police focuses on ensuring police act fairly and in accordance with the law; the breadth of IBAC's activities in acquitting this oversight role is significant. This year, IBAC commenced five investigations, four preliminary inquiries and 64 reviews into police misconduct. The reviews highlighted issues relating to use of force and management of family violence matters involving police officers. IBAC also completed five investigations concerning allegations of unlawful assault and excessive use of force by police officers, and allegations of police officers falsifying documents, perjury and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

A continued focus for IBAC's work in 2020/21 was to educate police, the public sector and community on measures to deter and prevent corruption and misconduct. IBAC delivered 115 corruption prevention initiatives and made 33 formal recommendations for public sector agencies to improve their systems, practices and controls.

"Our activities to expose corruption, including investigations, reviews, research and strategic intelligence analysis, are the foundations for our prevention work. However, to effectively expose and prevent corruption and police misconduct, we need to be supported by adequate powers and best practice legislation," Commissioner Redlich said.

"IBAC will continue to engage with government to explore legislative reform to better enable us to perform our duties and functions, so all Victorians can have confidence in our integrity system and our public services into the future."

Key achievements for IBAC during the 2020/21 financial year include:

  • receiving 2832 complaints/notifications, a 17 per cent increase on 2019/20
  • assessing 4965 allegations of suspected corruption or police misconduct
  • commencing 14 investigations and preliminary inquiries into alleged serious public sector corruption and police misconduct, including four ‘own motion’ investigations (IBAC may decide to investigate corrupt conduct or police misconduct on our ‘own motion’)
  • finalising 19 investigations and preliminary inquiries
  • making 33 formal recommendations (under the IBAC Act) for public sector agencies, including Victoria Police, to improve their systems, practices and control
  • reviewing 92 investigations by other agencies, including 64 police and 28 public sector investigations
  • delivering 115 corruption prevention initiatives, including publishing six special and research reports exposing corruption and misconduct, and ways it can be prevented.


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