To operate as Parliament intended and to ensure community confidence is maintained, the ICAC is both independent and accountable.
The ICAC is independent in that its operations, including investigations, are not subject to the direction of politicians, bureaucrats, any political party, or the government. Unlike most other publicly funded organisations, the ICAC is not responsible to a Government Minister. This independence is essential for the public to have confidence that the ICAC is not biased or subject to the dictates of the government of the day.
Under the ICAC Act and other legislation, the ICAC is given special powers, which in some respects exceed those given to the police, to perform its investigative functions.
The ICAC Act confers significant powers and discretion on the Commissioner and ICAC staff. Given these extensive powers, it is important that there is a comprehensive accountability framework in place to ensure the ICAC's powers are not abused and that it meets its legislative responsibilities. There are a number of accountability mechanisms in place as well as reporting requirements, the ICAC's Code of Conduct, service commitment and freedom of information provisions.