Senate debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Committees

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Committee; Report

4:47 pm

Photo of Paul ScarrPaul Scarr (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I present the report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, Examination of the Annual Report of the Integrity Commissioner 2018-19, together with the Hansard record of proceedings and documents presented to the committee. I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

On behalf of the committee I thank the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity for a comprehensive annual report and acknowledge the significant progress it has made in the last 12 months. The committee commends the commission for the efforts undertaken in the last 12 months to conclude or discontinue older investigations where it was appropriate to do so and to ensure that the focus of its efforts is on matters relating to serious or systemic corruption. This is in accordance with the commission's purpose under the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006. The committee noted that, of the 116 investigations concluded in 2018-19, 113 were discontinued under section 42 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act. That section provides a power for the commissioner to reconsider how a particular matter should be dealt with. To enhance the transparency of investigations that are discontinued under section 42 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act, the committee recommends that the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity consider how it can collect data on investigations that are discontinued, so that it is able to report at a high level the reasons why investigations are discontinued.

The committee is satisfied that ACLEI, as it's also known, performed strongly against its five key performance indicators and correlating targets for 2018-19. ACLEI delivered positive investigative and operational results including five prosecutions, all resulting in convictions. The committee particularly congratulates ACLEI on the successful work of the Visa Integrity Taskforce. The taskforce integrated corruption prevention into operational activities that provided timely advice on corruption risk to key stakeholders. It exemplified how working in partnership with other law enforcement and integrity agencies can build capability and capacity to combat corruption-enabled crime. This goes to the very heart of the purpose of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the staff of ACLEI for their great work over the last 12 months. The committee has been most impressed by the contribution made thus far by the new integrity commissioner, Ms Jaala Hinchcliffe, since her appointment in February. The committee notes the speed with which the integrity commissioner has familiarised herself with the key issues and taken steps to continue to improve ACLEI's efficiency and effectiveness.

I would like to thank the committee secretariat for their assistance in preparing this report, in particular Dr Sean Turner and Ms Emmie Shields. Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to thank all committee members for their contributions. In particular, as a new chair I could not hope to have a better deputy than Senator Bilyk, who, in the finest traditions of this place, has been collegiate, helpful and always constructive. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

I present the delegation report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, Visit to New Zealand and Vanuatu, December 2019. I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted.

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