FAQs about reporting
Can I be sued for defamation as a result of lodging a complaint with the ICAC?
No. There are protections against actions for defamation afforded to those who provide the ICAC with information.
Can I be victimised as a result of lodging a complaint with the ICAC?
If you are a current NSW public official or person
engaged to provide services to a NSW public authority (including an
employee or officer of a corporation engaged to provide services) and
you make a complaint to the ICAC as a public interest disclosure, your
matter falls within the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994
and it is an offence for reprisal action to be taken against you for
doing so. This includes such things as harassment, discrimination and
dismissal from employment.
It is an offence against the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 ("the ICAC Act") for anyone to victimise a member of the public for assisting the Commission - see section 93 of the ICAC Act.
If you consider you have been victimised as a result of lodging a complaint, you should let the ICAC know immediately.
Can I report a corruption matter anonymously?
Yes. However, this can affect our ability to deal with
the information. For example, we will not be able to contact you to
verify or check any facts. Nor will we be able to contact you to advise
you of what action the ICAC may be taking.
Can I tell others that I have reported a matter to the ICAC?
The ICAC cannot prevent you from reporting matters to
others, however this is not advisable. It may affect the ability of the
ICAC to take any necessary steps.
Can someone gain access to material I have provided to the ICAC under freedom of information legislation?
No. The ICAC's complaint-handling function is exempt from freedom of information legislation.
Do I need proof?
While proof is not required, the ICAC is unlikely to
take any action if your allegations are based on speculation. It does
assist the ICAC if you can provide information to support your
allegations. While you are not expected to know the truth of the matter
you are reporting, please note that it is an offence to deliberately
provide false and misleading information to the ICAC.
How do I report a matter?
The ICAC accepts complaints from the general public and from public officials in the following forms:
- by the online complaint form
- in writing – GPO Box 500, Sydney NSW 2001
- by fax – (02) 9264 5364
- by telephone – (02) 8281 5999 or toll-free 1800 463 909
- TTY – (02) 8281 5773 (for hearing-impaired callers only)
- by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- in person – the ICAC is located at Level 7, 255
Elizabeth Street, Sydney. It is advisable to make an appointment with
the Assessments duty officer if you wish to lodge your complaint in
How will I find out what has happened with my complaint?
You will be notified in writing of the ICAC's decision after the matter has been reported to the Assessment Panel.
What details do I need to make a complaint?
To assess your information fully, you should let us know:
- what happened
- when it occurred
- who was involved (including names and titles of public officials)
- why you consider the conduct corrupt
- whether you have any documents that might support your allegations
- who else you have reported it to and what response have you received, if any.
What will happen to my matter?
All reports and complaints received that are within the
ICAC's jurisdiction are considered by an internal committee made up of
senior officers, the Assessment Panel.
This panel decides on the action the ICAC will take, which could include:
- referring the matter to another agency or take no action
- requesting an investigation and report-back by another agency
- conducting assessment enquiries
- providing corruption prevention analysis and/or advice
- undertaking an investigation.
Who can I complain about to the ICAC?
The ICAC is concerned with investigating, exposing and
preventing corruption in and affecting the NSW public sector. The ICAC
does not have jurisdiction over the NSW Police Force or the NSW Crime
Commission, nor over private sector organisations or individuals unless
their conduct involves:
- a member of the public influencing, or trying to
influence, a NSW public official to use his or her position in a way
that affects the probity of the public official's exercise of functions
- a member of the public engaging in conduct that
could involve such matters set out in section 8(2A) of the ICAC Act
where such conduct impairs, or could impair, public confidence in public
The ICAC does not have jurisdiction over entities in other states or at a federal level.
Who can lodge a complaint with the ICAC?
Any member of the public, including public officials,
can lodge a complaint but the matter must concern suspected corrupt
conduct affecting the NSW public sector. If you are a current NSW public
official or an individual contracted to a NSW public authority at the
time you report your concerns, you may be entitled to the protections
available under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.
Who has a duty to report matters to the ICAC?
Section 11 of the ICAC Act provides
that all principal officers of NSW public sector authorities have a
duty to report all matters they suspect on reasonable grounds concern
corrupt conduct. This includes general managers of local councils,
secretaries and chief executives of government departments, as well as
any officer who constitutes a public authority. Others with a duty to
report such matters include the NSW Ombudsman, the Police Commissioner
and ministers of the Crown.
For any questions about this reporting duty, contact the ICAC on 02 8281 5999.
Will I be given a copy of the information other people involved in the complaint or report give to the ICAC?
No. We can provide you with copies of any material you have sent to us but we do not release information provided by others.
Will I need a lawyer?
You do not need to retain a lawyer to report suspected corrupt conduct to the ICAC.
Will it cost me anything to lodge a complaint?
No, there is no charge for the Commission to receive
your information. However, bear in mind that the Commission is not a
complaints resolution service and our role is to receive information
about suspected corrupt conduct and act accordingly.
Will the ICAC disclose the information I provide to others?
The primary concern of the ICAC is what is in the
public interest. If the ICAC decides that the information should be
provided to another agency, then it will be passed on. Please notify the
ICAC if you do not want your details disclosed as the source of the
information. While the ICAC will consider your wishes, anonymity cannot