Preliminary inquiries

IBAC may conduct a preliminary inquiry to help us determine whether to dismiss, refer or investigate a complaint or notification.

Preliminary inquiries may be in response to a complaint or notification, or initiated by our own motion. 

What powers can IBAC use during a preliminary inquiry?

As part of a preliminary inquiry, we may:

  • request further information from a relevant principal officer of a public body
  • issue a witness summons requiring a person to produce documents or other things to the IBAC
  • issue confidentiality notices.

We cannot use some of our broader investigative powers during a preliminary inquiry. For instance, we cannot use surveillance devices, hold examinations or require people to attend the IBAC to give evidence. 

What must you do if contacted as part of a preliminary inquiry?

If you are contacted by an IBAC officer as part of a preliminary inquiry, you must produce documents or other things as summonsed. It is an offence to fail to provide required records.

Who can you talk to?

We may issue you with a confidentiality notice. This means you must not discuss:

  • the documents or information you were required to give to IBAC
  • the fact that IBAC is conducting a preliminary inquiry into a matter (with anyone except your lawyer). 

Breaching a confidentiality notice is a criminal offence under the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011.

If the matter progresses to investigation, you may be called as a witness to an examination.