ICAC corruption prevention program to visit North Coast

Friday 17 March 2017

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will visit the North Coast next week, as part of the Commission’s program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to centres across the state.

The visit, to be based in Coffs Harbour from 21 to 24 March, will include workshops for state and local government agencies to raise awareness of corruption risks and learn ways to prevent corrupt conduct.

Acting ICAC Commissioner, the Hon Reginald Blanch AM QC, said the program provides the opportunity for regional state and local government agencies to acquire the latest corruption prevention techniques in a practical learning environment, face-to-face with the Commission’s highly-skilled staff.

“The ICAC is keen to ensure that all public agencies in NSW are well equipped to manage corruption risks, which is why visiting rural and regional centres to provide this training is so important,” Commissioner Blanch said. “Outreach visits also give public officials an opportunity to ask questions about how they can best serve their community through preventing corruption in their agencies. It is very pleasing to note that at this North Coast visit, approximately 85 staff from nearly 30 state and local government agencies are scheduled to participate in the activities.”

Workshops scheduled for this visit include corruption prevention for managers, which focuses on developing an understanding of the nature of corruption, how and why it occurs, and what managers can do to prevent it. Other workshops will include corruption prevention for planning professionals, designed for town planners and related public officials working within the planning system, and corruption prevention in procurement and contract management to assist managers and staff responsible for procurement to identify where systems weaknesses and corruption opportunities may lie. There will also be a fact-finder workshop, which is an introductory workshop for those who may be required to conduct an internal fact-finding investigation into a complaint or allegations of staff wrongdoing, including misconduct or corruption.

Commissioner Blanch will host a community leaders’ lunch as part of the visit, to be attended by approximately 30 people including representatives from local and state government agencies, and community interest groups. Commissioner Blanch will speak about the roles and functions of the ICAC. NSW Deputy Ombudsman, Chris Wheeler, will also attend and will speak about the role of the Ombudsman.

Agencies attending the outreach activities include the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Crown Lands, NSW Public Works Advisory, Safework NSW, the Departments of Family and Community Services, Industry, Planning and Environment, and Primary Industries, Mid North Coast Local Area Health Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Environment Protection Authority, NSW Police Force, Property NSW, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the Kempsey and Yaegl Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Service NSW and TAFE NSW. Belligen Shire, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Kempsey Shire, Lismore City, Nambucca Shire and Tweed Shire councils are also expected to participate.

The ICAC rural and regional outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. Previous visits have included to the central coast, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the south east, the central west, the Riverina, the northern inland, the south coast, the central west and the far west. and the Blue Mountains. The Commission’s rural and regional outreach program previously visited the North Coast in 2014 at Taree.

Enquiries and interview requests: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801