Australia Needs a Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog With Teeth

In 2022, the Federal Parliament passed legislation to establish the National Anti-Corruption Commission, a watchdog that will investigate potential corruption at the highest level. It passed with cross-partisan support. The Commission will be operational by mid 2023.

It is clear the National Anti-Corruption Commission will fill a huge gap in Australia's integrity system.

Altogether, 19,000 people signed Australia Institute petitions calling for an effective anti-corruption watchdog at the federal level. Now, thanks in no small part to your support, the National Anti-Corruption Commission is law.

Read more about the Commission.

The Morrison Government thinks the solution to addressing corruption in Canberra is to create the weakest anti-corruption watchdog in Australia.

Sign here to tell him he is wrong and that Australia needs a federal anti-corruption watchdog with teeth.

The Attorney-General has finally released the exposure draft of the Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation for public consultation, and what is clear is that what has been proposed falls well short of an effective watchdog with teeth.

The Commonwealth Integrity Commission as currently proposed falls short in three key areas:

  • as currently drafted, would only have power to investigate allegations of criminality, whereas much serious corruption is not necessarily criminal;
  • would not allow for public hearings for the public sector division; and
  • lack of ability for the public sector division to make own investigations or receive referrals or complaints from the public or whistleblowers.

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee has established a blueprint for the basic principles necessary for the design of a successful and effective integrity commission. The omission or downgrading of any of the essential design principles identified would actually destroy the effectiveness of a federal anti-corruption body and will allow serious corruption to go largely undetected.

Add your name to tell the Prime Minister he is wrong and that Australia needs a federal anti-corruption watchdog with teeth.

Dear Prime Minister –

We urge you to help restore integrity, accountability and trust in the Federal Parliament and Australian Public Service.

The Commonwealth Integrity Commission as currently drafted is woefully inadequate.

Australia needs a genuine federal corruption watchdog with teeth.