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Methodology

The statistics included in the Performance Statement were drawn from ACLEI's case management system and, where possible, cross-checked with LEIC Act agencies for accuracy.

Criterion One—The corruption notification and referral system is effective

1.1

Law enforcement agencies notify ACLEI of corruption issues and related information in a timely way

1.2

Other agencies or individuals provide information about corruption issues, risks and vulnerabilities to ACLEI

1.3

Partner agencies indicate confidence in sharing information or intelligence with ACLEI

1.4

ACLEI prioritises credible information about serious or systemic corruption

1.5

ACLEI supports awareness-raising activities in agencies within the Integrity Commissioner's jurisdiction, including by participating in joint initiatives

Source: 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements (p 64) and 2016–17 Corporate Plan (p 14)

Results against Criterion One

The heads of LEIC Act agencies continue to engage positively with their obligations to notify the Integrity Commissioner of corruption issues, reflecting a strong basis of trust and strategic alignment with ACLEI. During the year, the Integrity Commissioner met with the heads of all LEIC Act agencies to reinforce the importance of timely notifications and report on specific corruption vulnerabilities observed in investigations and how they may be addressed. ACLEI officers also made a total of 18 presentations during the reporting period, to support awareness-raising activities amongst LEIC Act agencies and the broader public service.

As expected, the overall volume of notifications fell marginally during this period—following the sharp increase in 2015–16 which was largely due to pre-existing matters associated with the newly-extended jurisdiction over DIBP. Notifications from other agencies within ACLEI's jurisdiction have continued to remain relatively stable (See Part 4, Appendix 4).

Notifications from LEIC Act agencies

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

 

56

69

71

185

135

Due to an error in the collation of statistics, the figure for 2015–16 has been updated since the publication of the ACLEI 2015–16 Annual Report. Please refer to 'Part 4, Appendix 7' for further details.

Another reliable source of credible information about corruption is information provided by other government agencies, mostly arising incidental to investigations conducted by those agencies into criminal syndicates. Accordingly, ACLEI continues to develop its contact network with State police and integrity agencies to uncover information that might indicate corruption in LEIC Act agencies. ACLEI expects a degree of fluctuation in these referrals as their frequency depends, in part, on the operational priorities of those partner agencies. ACLEI will continue to foster these inter-jurisdictional partnerships including through regular meetings with State-based law enforcement agencies.

Referrals from other sources

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

Government agencies only

12

15

24

39

18

Total referrals (all sources)

21

23

30

48

19

Due to an error in the collation of statistics, the figure for 2015–16 has been updated since the publication of the ACLEI 2015–16 Annual Report. Please refer to 'Part 4, Appendix 7' for further details.

Of the 193 assessments completed in 2016–17, 171 were turned around within 90 days of receipt. An increase in the number of ACLEI's assessments staff, in line with the 'proactive ACLEI' strategy, has contributed to a higher turn-around of assessments meeting the 90-day benchmark.

Assessment statistics

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

Total assessments completed

77

75

120

190

193

% that met the 90-day benchmark(against a target of 75%)

75%

64%

83%

63%

89%

Due to an error in the collation of statistics, the figure for 2015–16 has been updated since the publication of the ACLEI 2015–16 Annual Report. Please refer to 'Part 4, Appendix 7' for further details.

Own-initiative investigations continue to reflect ACLEI's pivot towards developing a proactive information-gathering capability, which generates new leads.

Own-initiative investigations

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

 

2

1

1

6

4

Areas to note

An area of focus in 2017–18 will be to work with agencies on strengthening their corruption detection methods. For instance, ACLEI is:

  • working with AUSTRAC to map and measure its integrity maturity
  • assisting DAWR to assess its vulnerabilities, and
  • supporting DIBP's Operation Arête — a DIBP initiative to target hard-to-detect corruption.
Criterion Two—ACLEI's investigations are conducted professionally and efficiently, and add value to the law enforcement integrity system

2.1

Each investigation considers corruption risk and the broader impact on law enforcement outcomes

2.2

Operational resources are actively managed and targeted for maximum effect

2.3

Risks relating to the operating context of law enforcement agencies are taken into account and, in appropriate circumstances, mitigation strategies are agreed with the agency concerned

Source: 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements (p 64) and 2016–17 Corporate Plan (p 15)

Results against Criterion Two

ACLEI's investigation workload is historically high with a total of 244 corruption issues under active investigation during the reporting period. The increased number of investigations commenced into corruption issues reflects an increase in the quality of information received as well as an increased capacity to assess the merit of notifications and referrals that relate to multiple allegations. To manage resources, a review of the investigations workload was commenced in July 2017 to identify cases for closure, generally on the basis that further investigation is not warranted in all of the circumstances.

To assist operational effectiveness and efficiency, multiple corruption issues may be investigated as part of one investigation if the allegations are related.

Corruption issues investigated by ACLEI (including joint investigations)

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

Number commenced

11

23

42

76

107

Total active in the year

31

45

75

144

242

Number concluded

9

12

7

8

14

Overall, operational results in the year were positive:

  • five prosecutions resulted in convictions
  • two final investigation reports were provided to the Minister (relating to information security and conflicts of interest), and
  • 112 disseminations of information were made—for example, to provide criminal intelligence or vulnerability assessments or to enable disciplinary action concerning serious breaches of duty.

In November 2016, the Corruption Prevention function was 'operationalised' to pivot the focus of LEIC Act agencies towards vulnerabilities identification and mitigation strategies. Integrating this capability with the Intelligence Assessments team improved ACLEI's capacity to disseminate information to LEIC Act agencies during investigations. Information disseminated by ACLEI's Corruption Prevention and Intelligence Assessments team assists jurisdictional agencies to build their integrity culture and programs and provides strategic insight into current and emerging integrity risks within agencies.

Furthermore, ACLEI's policy work continues to translate operational outcomes into lessons learned and provides insight on corruption prevention for policy development across government (See Results against Criterion Four).

Areas to note

  • Funding for a Visa Integrity Taskforce has been granted by the Minister for Justice under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) (Confiscated Assets Account). This ACLEI-led taskforce will assure the integrity of Australia's visa system by investigating allegations and intelligence about internal collusion with visa fraud.
  • In light of the increasingly complex nature of investigations, in 2017–18 emphasis will be placed on prioritising investigations in terms of the Integrity Commissioner's strategic focus and closing investigations which fall outside these priorities.
Criterion Three—ACLEI monitors corruption investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies

3.1

All agency corruption investigation reports provided to ACLEI for review are assessed for intelligence value and completeness

3.2

ACLEI liaises regularly with the agencies' professional standards units about the progress of agency investigations

Source: 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements (p 65) and 2016–17 Corporate Plan (p 16)

Results against Criterion Three

A total of 183 of the 425 corruption issues under investigation in 2016–17 (43 per cent) were conducted as internal investigations by LEIC Act agencies, which—unless reconsidered and discontinued with the agreement of ACLEI—result in a section 66 report for review by the Integrity Commissioner.

Corruption issues investigated by LEIC Act agencies

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

Total active in the year

109

105

127

131

183

The bulk of internal investigations in 2016–17 were undertaken by DIBP (104) and AFP (74), the progress of which were discussed regularly at meetings between these agencies and ACLEI.

In this reporting period, a significant focus was placed on reviewing section 66 investigation reports from LEIC Act agencies. A total of 62 final investigation reports from LEIC Act agencies (compared with 14 last year) were reviewed during the year with no cause found to comment on the process or outcome. A further 19 reports were received, with reviews to be concluded in 2017–18.

In addition, the ACLEI Corruption Prevention and Intelligence Assessments team commenced a retrospective review of section 66 reports to identify any patterns and trends which may assist agencies in terms of corruption prevention and potential mitigation strategies.

Criterion Four—ACLEI insights contribute to accountability and anti-corruption policy development

4.1

When warranted, the Integrity Commissioner makes recommendations for improvement in corruption prevention or detection measures

4.2

Submissions that relate to corruption prevention or enhancing integrity arrangements are made to government or in other relevant forums

4.3

Targeted presentations about integrity are made to diverse audiences

4.4

The Integrity Commissioner's Annual Report or other publications contain analysis of patterns and trends in law enforcement corruption

Source: 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements (p 65) and 2016–17 Corporate Plan (p 17)

Results against Criterion Four

During the reporting period, the Integrity Commissioner engaged with LEIC Act agency heads to outline specific corruption vulnerabilities observed in operations, and how they may be addressed. As noted in the 2015–16 Annual Report, a Peer Review conducted during that year indicated that LEIC Act agencies would find significant benefit if ACLEI were able to strengthen its strategic intelligence contribution, to identify more information about emerging threats, methods and systemic vulnerabilities. As part of ACLEI's strategic intent to become more proactive in the detection and investigation of corruption, vulnerability assessments were undertaken and shared with LEIC Act agencies. Vulnerability reports use data and insights gathered through ACLEI investigations to provide agencies with real-time awareness of specific risks that may exist within internal processes and procedures, including the conduct of staff members.

ACLEI also provided specialist input to a number of Interdepartmental Committees, including the IDC for Open Government and the IDC for Personnel Security Policy Reform.

ACLEI made five public submissions to Commonwealth or State Government Parliamentary inquiries relating to:

  • the Western Australian Corruption and Crime Commission's power to prosecute
  • the establishment of a National Integrity Commission
  • the integrity of Australia's border arrangements
  • Parliamentary privilege and the use of intrusive powers, and
  • the establishment of an Independent Integrity Commission in the Australian Capital Territory.

ACLEI continued to update the corruption prevention pages on its website, which were first established in 2015–16. These pages consolidate the anti-corruption insights accumulated through ACLEI investigations, to make them available to a wide audience. Specifically, a case study relating to integrity risk (Operation Chloris) and a 'corruption prevention myths' page—using insights gathered from ACLEI investigations to highlight common assumptions that can limit corruption risk management—were added to the website.

Twenty-one presentations were made to both domestic and international audiences during the year, including to several Australian Public Service agencies. These presentations related to integrity risks within organisations, vulnerabilities within systems and processes, and early intervention. (See Part 4, Appendix 3).

ACLEI also provided input to a number of international initiatives during the year. For example, ACLEI was invited as a corruption prevention technical expert to provide comments to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to assist with Australia's participation in the peer review assessment of Lichtenstein's adherence to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Additionally, ACLEI provided a number of comments on the 2017–18 Implementation Plan of the G20, which is used to guide the work of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. Similarly, ACLEI also provided input to Germany's proposed 'G20 High Level Principles of Organising against Corruption' concept paper which, along with the Implementation Plan, was discussed at the January 2017 meeting of the working group in Berlin and later endorsed by G20 leaders.

Areas to note

In July 2017, the Prime Minister announced his decision to establish a Department of Home Affairs, to centralise Australia's domestically focussed national security capability. Such a major reform will no doubt have an important integrity dimension that ACLEI will continue to monitor and provide advice to Government as needed.

Criterion Five—ACLEI's governance and risk management controls are effective and take account of its operational role

5.1

Systems are in place to ensure ACLEI officers act ethically, comply with legislative requirements and adhere to standards set by the Integrity Commissioner

5.2

Regular reviews and audits indicate effective governance, risk management and integrity

Source: 2016–17 Portfolio Budget Statements (p 65) and 2016–17 Corporate Plan (p 18)

Results against Criterion Five

During the period, ACLEI Canberra staff relocated to new accommodation, designed and fitted-out to protect staff and to facilitate ACLEI hosting multi-agency taskforces to tackle complex corruption. This new accommodation includes state-of-the-art security features to protect sensitive information obtained by ACLEI and its partners. To coincide with the relocation, the Site Security Plan 2016–19 was introduced, as a specific risk management framework for the Canberra office. The new office was officially opened by the Minister for Justice on 29 August 2016.

ACLEI's Internal Governance Board meets monthly to consider the treatment of existing and emerging risks, both operationally and at the enterprise level. This Board comprises the Integrity Commissioner, the Executive Director Secretariat and Executive Director Operations and is also attended by the ACLEI Directors, to reflect a whole-of-agency approach to governance risk management.

The ACLEI Audit Committee provides independent advice and assurance to the Integrity Commissioner on ACLEI's accountability and control framework, including independently verifying and safeguarding the integrity of ACLEI's financial and performance reporting. The Audit Committee focused on operational risks during 2016–17. ACLEI continues to strengthen its alignment of operational risks and enterprise risks, with the Audit Committee meeting with different Operational Directors at each meeting to discuss current and emerging risks, a practice that will continue in 2017–18.

Close regular liaison between the ACLEI Agency Security Advisor and the Attorney General's Department (AGD) Information Technology Security Advisor focused on controlling and reporting accesses to ACLEI's data by super-users or system administrators. The ACLEI Audit Committee has ensured that AGD, as the managers of ACLEI's ICT systems, implemented the mandatory 'Strategies to Mitigate Targeted Cyber Intrusion'.

ACLEI continues to require high standards for the integrity of its own staff, with one-on-one mandatory interviews for staff upon commencing with ACLEI. Further, ACLEI's employment processes also include identity checking, criminal background checks, a security questionnaire and compliance with the ACLEI integrity reporting scheme which involves contact reporting and declaration of associations. ACLEI staff members are required to maintain an appropriate security clearance, through the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA).

Areas to note

Sudden growth in ACLEI's investigation workload (in number and complexity) requires careful monitoring. Several projects in 2017–18 (a critical assessment of open cases, an audit of resources directed to investigations, and exploration of a new case management system) will assist ACLEI to predict and track resource use and investigation progress more efficiently.

Analysis

There were no changes to ACLEI's purpose, activities or organisational capabilities which had a significant impact on ACLEI's performance in the reporting period.