Information for witnesses

IBAC takes its responsibility to look after the welfare of everyone involved in our work seriously. This includes protecting the welfare of witnesses.

IBAC summons witnesses to public and private examinations to assist with its investigations. This page outlines what to expect, what's required of witnesses and welfare support available.

IBAC recognises examinations can place people under pressure. We have a range of measures in place to support the welfare (health, safety and wellbeing) of people summonsed to attend a public or private examination. Support is available before, during and after examinations. Additional support is provided where a high welfare risk has been identified. More information about this support and how to access it is provided below.

As a witness in an examination, it is important that you:

  • read and understand the procedures for public hearings
  • appear at a hearing when you receive a summons from us
  • produce documents or other things required by us
  • take an oath or an affirmation that your evidence will be truthful
  • answer all questions truthfully (it is an offence to give false or misleading evidence)
  • comply with all confidentiality notices by not discussing: 
    • the evidence you give in private examinations
    • the fact that an examination has been held with anyone except your lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you if you can discuss confidential details with others in very limited circumstances.
  • understand the welfare support available to you.

Do you have to attend IBAC examinations?

A witness must attend an examination in accordance with the summons. If they fail to do so, and do not have a reasonable excuse for not complying with the summons, they will be committing an offence.

Can you engage legal representation?

Witnesses are entitled to seek legal advice about their involvement in the investigation or legal representation.

What support does IBAC provide to witnesses?

Support for the welfare of witnesses is available before, during and after examinations.

The following support arrangements are provided:

  • Access to professional counselling services from the time a summons is served.
  • IBAC officers trained in suicide awareness and first aid.
  • A professional counsellor and a private room available onsite during examinations where a high welfare risk has been identified.
  • An IBAC witness welfare officer on hand to help witnesses access professional support services during examinations where a high welfare risk has been identified.

Anyone summonsed to appear at an IBAC examination is sent information advising them of these support arrangements.

For more information, please contact us.

Will you be identified as a witness?

We may prohibit or restrict publication of any information or evidence given as part of a public examination. However, there may be occasions in a public examination or a court case where it is necessary to identify you. This would be done in full consultation with you beforehand. 

Protected disclosers have their identity closely safeguarded. We can ask a court to not identify a witness under the provisions of Protected Disclosure Act 2012

Do you have to give evidence to us?

Witnesses must answer all questions and produce all documents or things required by IBAC. It is an offence to:

  • fail to provide required records
  • give untruthful answers to questions asked of you at an interview or examination
  • hinder or obstruct an IBAC officer
  • fail to comply with an IBAC direction or requirement.

You may be asked questions about matters you were not directly involved in.

What happens if it appears a witness has lied at an IBAC examination?

There are heavy penalties for proven perjury before IBAC.

What happens if a person gives evidence that incriminates themselves or others?

Any answer, information or document provided that may incriminate the witness is not admissible in evidence against them in court, except in certain proceedings such as offences against the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2011 and the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (and others).