On 19 June 2023, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rules 2023 (Rules) and the National Anti‑Corruption Commission (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2023 (Regulations) came into force. The Rules and Regulations may be relevant to you if any government entities you work with are being or have been investigated by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI).
What are the Rules?
The purpose of the Rules is to prescribe arrangements to transition the existing ACLEI to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on its commencement on 1 July 2023 (transition time). The Rules support the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2022 (C&T Act), which was passed by Parliament alongside the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022 (NACC Act) late last year.
The C&T Act included transitional provisions such as to transition ‘serious or systemic’ Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 (LEIC Act) investigations to NACC Act investigations, and allow the NACC to continue conducting any incomplete ACLEI investigations post-transition under the LEIC Act as if the latter had not been repealed. The Rules complement the C&T Act to ensure that LEIC Act investigations and processes on foot at the transition time can be completed, and that other legislation amended by the C&T Act operates appropriately with respect to ACLEI’s transition to the NACC. The Rules:
- facilitate existing investigations and inquiries continued by the NACC Commissioner under the LEIC Act after the transition time;
- provide for NACC staff to exercise the powers, and perform the functions and duties, of their equivalent role in the ACLEI;
- ensure reporting, record-keeping, information-sharing and confidentiality requirements are met during the transition from the ACLEI to the NACC; and
- continue entitlements to make a complaint about ACLEI decisions and actions under NACC frameworks.
What are the Regulations?
The Regulations are largely mechanical and amend other regulations to replace the ACLEI and its legislative framework with the NACC and its legislative framework, or provide for the LEIC Act’s continued application (in circumstances such as those set out above) during the transition period.
The Rules and Regulations may be relevant to you if any government individuals or entities your company works with are currently the subject of an ACLEI investigation, or would like to make a complaint about an ACLEI decision or action. As set out above, the NACC will be empowered to continue ACLEI investigations, either under the old LEIC Act, or as NACC Act investigations if they are ‘serious or systemic’. In addition, complaints may be made to the NACC about ACLEI decisions and actions.
What happens next?
Please see our previous article for an overview of what powers the NACC will have and associated implications for the private sector, including key considerations your company should be aware of in the lead up to and following the NACC’s commencement on 1 July.