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ICAC to visit North Coast as part of regional corruption prevention program

Friday 18 May 2007

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will visit the NSW North Coast next month as part of a program that takes anti-corruption initiatives and training to regions across the State.

The ICAC will hold workshops and briefing sessions for local agencies on corruption risks and prevention strategies in the Coffs Harbour area from 4 – 7 June. The visit will continue further north from 18 – 21 June, with region-wide events planned for Ballina, Grafton, Byron Bay, Clarence Valley, Port Macquarie and Tweed Heads.

The ICAC Commissioner, the Hon. Jerrold Cripps QC, said the outreach visit to regional and rural areas in NSW also helps raise awareness about the work of the Commission.

"The first ICAC outreach program was held in the North Coast in 2001," Commissioner Cripps said. "The ICAC is looking forward to returning to the area, as since that time we have developed more resources to help state agencies and local councils combat corruption."

"These resources have included developing a tool kit on managing gifts and benefits in the public sector and guidelines for councillors on the appropriate way to handle lobbying from constituents."

"ICAC staff will deliver hands-on corruption prevention workshops to North Coast local government and regional public sector agencies, which will equip them with the knowledge and skills to help tackle corruption," Commissioner Cripps said.

The specialised training sessions will include information on how to recognise and report corrupt conduct, and how to identify and manage corruption risks in public sector organisations.

As part of the visit to the North Coast, Commissioner Cripps and ICAC Deputy Commissioner, Theresa Hamilton, will meet with local councillors and with senior representatives of local public sector agencies.

Police Integrity Commissioner John Pritchard will hold discussions with local police on anti-corruption initiatives and systems.

ICAC staff will also take the opportunity to hold specialised workshops on investigation skills and better management of whistleblower complaints.

The ICAC outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. It has included visits to the Illawarra, New England, the Hunter, Mudgee, the Far West, the South East, the Riverina, the Central Coast, the Central West and the North Coast.