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Demanding money or property with menaces or threats.

Breach of policy or procedures

A breach of public service policies or procedures or internal policies or procedures developed by each organisation.


Receiving or offering an undue reward by or to a public official in order to influence that person's performance of their duty and to act contrary to accepted rules of honesty and integrity.


A secret agreement for a fraudulent purpose.

Compulsory examination

A hearing in aid of an ICAC investigation held in private, not for public attendance or notification.

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest occurs when the private interests of a public official come into conflict with their duty to act in the public interest.


Corrupt conduct, as defined in the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 ("the ICAC Act"), is deliberate or intentional wrongdoing, not negligence or a mistake. For further information see sections 7, 8 and 9 of the ICAC ACT.

Cronyism (see also Nepotism)

Unfair bias shown.

Duty to disclose (see also failure to disclose a conflict of interest)

A responsibility or agreement to disclose information that may be relevant in a decision making process.


To appropriate for one's own use, money or property belonging to your employer.

Election bribery

Bribery used specifically to influence situations where voting occurs.

Election fraud

Fraud which occurs in relation to elections or voting. For example, representing yourself as someone else in order to vote.


Demanding property or money with menaces or force with the intention of stealing the property or money. 


The process of creating a fake story or document, an untruthful statement.

Failure to disclose/abuse of a conflict of interest

Failure to provide information about a conflict of interest or to take advantage of that conflict of interest.


An intentional dishonest act or omission done with the purpose of deceiving.

Improper use of information

Using information to give a particular individual or organisation an unfair advantage.


Inefficient or improper administration. Maladministration is defined in the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 as "conduct that involves action or inaction of a serious nature" that is:

  • contrary to law; or
  • unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory; or
  • based wholly or partly on improper motives.

Misuse of public resources

Using public resources for something other than what they were allocated for.


Patronage bestowed in consideration of a family relationship and not merit.

Operational matters

Everything the ICAC does as part of its investigative function, other than public inquiries, is referred to as operational.

Pecuniary interest

A situation where a public official has a personal monetary interest in the outcome of the exercise of their official duties. For example, a local council employee makes decisions about development applications for their own business.

Perverting the course of justice

Deliberately attempting to pervert the administration of justice.


Giving false evidence.

Public interest disclosures

A public official, or a contractor retained by a public authority, will have protection from reprisals if he or she makes a voluntary report of a matter that he or she suspects on reasonable grounds involves either corrupt conduct, or other specified wrongdoing under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. A public interest disclosure can only be made through a number of set channels. 

Public authority

A public authority is defined in section 3 of the ICAC Act and can include:

  • a government department, administrative office or teaching service  
  • a statutory body representing the Crown 
  • a local government authority
  • a body which keeps account of administration or working expenses under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, or over which the Auditor-General has authority.

There is a wide range of organisations which are also public authorities including state owned corporations, government trading enterprises and local government councils.

Public inquiry

A hearing in aid of an ICAC investigation held in public.

Public official

A public official is defined in the ICAC Act as an individual having public official functions or acting in an official capacity.
Public officials also include ministers, other Members of the NSW Parliament, NSW local government councillors and NSW judges and magistrates.

Secret commission

Improper rewards that influence decision-making.


A person offers, promises or supplies a benefit such as food, drink, entertainment or transport to and from a polling place, with the intention of influencing election votes.


To make a victim of someone. To discipline or punish selectively or unfairly.