The Commission was established in 2004 to improve the integrity of, and to reduce the incidence of misconduct in, the Western Australian public sector and to assist the WA Police Force to combat and reduce the incidence of organised crime. At that time the powers given under the Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003 were the most extensive of any anti-corruption agency in Australia.
On 1 July 2015, proclamation of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003 focused the Commission on more serious misconduct, criminal and corrupt behaviour. Responsibility for minor misconduct and public sector education and prevention was transferred to the Public Sector Commission.
On 1 September 2018, amendments to the Criminal Property Confiscation Act 2000 and the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003 conferred on the Commission a new unexplained wealth function. The new function enables the Commission to investigate unexplained wealth and criminal benefits, and to initiate and conduct civil confiscation proceedings in the Supreme or District courts.
The Commission has been served by the following Commissioners:
- April 2015 - current, Hon John McKechnie, KC
- November 2011 - April 2014, Mr Roger Macknay, QC
- May 2007 — January 2011, Hon Len Roberts-Smith, RFD, QC
- December 2003 — March 2007, Mr Kevin Hammond, AO