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ICAC regional corruption prevention program to visit central western NSW

Wednesday 11 June 2014

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will visit the central west next week as part of the Commission's outreach program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to regional NSW.

The visit, to be based in Dubbo, will include workshops for state and local government agencies to increase awareness about corruption risks and learn the latest ways to minimise the occurrence of corrupt conduct.

The ICAC Commissioner, the Hon Megan Latham, said the Commission is keen to reach out beyond metropolitan Sydney to share its knowledge with rural and regional NSW. "Next week's visit will provide opportunities for public officials and others in the central west to interact in person with the Commission as it shares its expertise and knowledge about identifying and managing corruption risks in the NSW public sector," Commissioner Latham said.

"The outreach program is an important aspect of the Commission's corruption prevention program, which forms an integral part of our work. Prevention, as many of our public inquiries has shown, is an area upon which all public sector agencies should be focusing to best manage the risks and identify the pitfalls where corruption can occur. I am very pleased that so many agencies in the central west will be participating in next week's program, and are taking a proactive approach to managing these risks by that participation."

Workshops scheduled for this visit include corruption prevention for managers, which focuses on the role of managers in corruption prevention, and how they can recognise and respond to the occurrence of corrupt conduct. Other workshops will include corruption prevention in procurement, aimed at equipping managers and staff involved in procurement responsibility to better handle this area, which can be particularly vulnerable to corruption risk. There will also be a workshop conducted on fact-finding, which helps agencies to conduct their own internal investigations.

The Commission's Executive Director Corruption Prevention, Dr Robert Waldersee, will host a community leaders' breakfast as part of the visit, which will be attended by approximately 45 people including Dubbo City Deputy Mayor Councillor Ben Shields, and other elected representatives and senior staff from Dubbo City Council, and officials from the NSW Aboriginal Land Council Western Zone, state government agencies, local business people and community interest groups. The visit will also include Mr Chris Wheeler, NSW Deputy Ombudsman, who will address the breakfast about the role of the Ombudsman.

Agencies attending the outreach activities include Dubbo City Council, Bogan, Forbes, Gilgandra, Narromine Warren and Warrumbungle Shire Councils, Wellington Council, Central NSW Business Enterprise Centre, Corrective Services NSW, Department of Police & Justice, Department of Primary Industries, NSW State Emergency Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, the Nyngan, Trangie and Warren Macquarie Local  Aboriginal Land Councils, Office of Fair Trading, Office of Environment and Heritage, Roads and Maritime Services, Central West Local Land Services, Western Local Land Services, Western NSW Local Health District and WorkCover NSW. The ICAC rural and regional outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. Previous visits have included the central coast, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the far west, the south east, New England, the Riverina and the north coast area. The Commission last visited the central west area in 2010.

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

News Directors/Ed's note: Media are welcome to attend the Community Leaders' Breakfast at Dubbo RSL Memorial Club, Cnr Brisbane & Wingewarra Streets, Dubbo, at 7.15am on Tuesday 17 June. Please RSVP to Nicole Thomas at the above numbers or email nthomas@icac.nsw.gov.au by 12 pm on Friday 13 June 2014.