FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are there any facilities to help the media?

  • Accredited media representatives have exclusive use of a media room adjacent to the hearing room where the proceedings can be viewed and listened to while stories are being written.
    Booths with landlines are available near the hearing room for filing radio stories or doing live crosses.
    Transcripts will be made available as soon as practicable on the Commission’s website subject to operational constraints. This is usually mid-afternoon for the morning session and a couple of hours after the hearings finish for the afternoon session subject to the complexity of the transcript.
    Where practicable, public versions of, telecommunications intercepts will be made available to the media on request. However, under Commonwealth legislation they can only be used for the fair and accurate reporting of evidence given at Commission public hearings and not for other purposes. Any further dealing with the information, including copying, may be regulated by the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.
    Similar conditions apply to material from surveillance devices 

    Please keep in mind 
    Cameras are not permitted on the floor where the hearing room is located unless specifically authorised for example to record the opening addresses of a public hearing.
    Tape recorders may be used in the media room (but not the hearing room) to accurately report evidence from the hearings. However, this privilege will be withdrawn if the audio so obtained is broadcast or placed on websites.
    Mobile phones must be switched off in the hearing room as they can interrupt proceedings and may interfere with the Commission’s electronic equipment. The media are permitted to use mobile phones in the media room and the phone booths though this privilege may be withdrawn if photographs are taken by phones with cameras on the Commission’s premises.
    Use of the media room is restricted to accredited media.

    Suppression Orders
    Media outlets are responsible for ensuring they comply with Suppression Orders and any changes made to them.
    Copies of Suppression Orders are filed in the Media Room.
    It is a breach of the Corruption and Crime Commission Act to disclose any details of a private hearing including the witnesses who may have or are going to appear, what the hearing was about, or any evidence that may have been given.
     

How do you know if there is a public hearing?

  • Media outlets will receive an Alert before a public hearing starts.
    Advertisements announcing the public hearings and what they’re about will be placed in The West Australian before they start.
    The Commission will do all it can to announce the starting time of each day’s public hearing in the In the Courts section of The West Australian each day.
    The starting time of each day’s public hearing will also be on the Commission’s website under Hearings.
     

Can the Commission investigate allegations against State politicians?

  •  Yes. The Commission can investigate allegations of serious misconduct against members of the State Parliament.

Can the Commission investigate organised crime?

  • No.
    The Commission does not have the power to itself investigate organised crime. Rather, the Commissioner of Police can apply to the Commission to be granted so-called extraordinary powers that include enhanced powers to search places and people, and compel witnesses to answer questions at private hearings. If those powers are granted, the resulting investigation is a police investigation and does not involve Commission investigators.
    Though a private hearing into an organised crime matter would be held before the Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission, it is run by the police and witnesses are questioned by police lawyers.

Can the media report anything about private hearings held by the Commission?

  • No. It is an offence to report that a private hearing is to be held or has been held, to name witnesses who appeared at a private hearing or any details of the evidence given.

Does the Commission confirm it is conducting a particular investigation?

  • The Commission has a general policy of not informing the media of what investigations it is undertaking or details of investigations.
    The exception is if there is a high degree of public interest in a matter in which case the Commission may confirm receipt of an allegation.
    However, this is only ever a simple confirmation that an allegation has been received and no operation details will be revealed.
    If details of operations are reported in the media they most likely originate from witnesses or people under investigation.

Does the Commission confirm if it has received a particular allegation?

  • It is generally inappropriate for the CCC to confirm that it has received an allegation of misconduct.
    The reputation of innocent people could be unfairly damaged if the Commission publicly acknowledges it has received a complaint as allegations maybe unsubstantiated and untested.
    For this reason, it is preferable that allegations made to the Commission remain confidential unless the public interest in revealing that the allegation has been received outweighs an individual’s right to procedural fairness.
    However, usually there is nothing to stop a complainant telling the media that an allegation has been made to the Commission.
    The most appropriate time for the Commission to comment on any particular case is at the completion of an investigation.

WHAT ARE CCC GUIDELINES FOR THE NOTIFICATION OF SERIOUS MISCONDUCT?

  • The Guidelines are a legal instrument developed under section 30 of the CCM Act and apply to all public sector organisations (except WA Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspector of Custodial Services and the Parliamentary Inspector).  

    The Guidelines are designed to hold public sector heads accountable for managing and addressing the risk of serious misconduct and corruption within their organisation.  The Guidelines do not change the obligation on Principal Officers to notify the CCC of suspected serious misconduct, but   they vary the timing requirement by which the notification is made.

    The Guidelines assist public sector organisations to determine if an allegation is serious misconduct and, if so, what action they should take. 

    Only matters considered by the public sector organisation to be Category 1 (High Level) must be reported as soon as practicable.  Category 2 (Mid-Level) can be reported within one calendar month and Category 3 (Low Level) must be reported on the completion of the action by the organisation to deal with the matter.

    The CCC has issued the Guidelines to enable it to allocate its resources to the areas of greatest risk in the sector.

IS THERE A DUTY TO NOTIFY THE CCC OF SERIOUS MISCONDUCT?

  • Under section 28 of the CCM Act all Principal Officers of public authorities must notify the CCC in writing of any matter which they suspect on reasonable grounds concerns or may concern serious misconduct. 

    Where a matter includes both serious and minor misconduct allegations that are directly related or cannot be separated the CCC should be notified.

    The requirement to notify applies to all State Government departments, organisations and statutory authorities, local governments, public sector boards and committees, public universities and government trading enterprises.

    The duty to notify is paramount.  For more information refer to the document entitled Guidelines for Notification of Serious Misconduct.

WHAT IS NOT MISCONDUCT?

  • Matters of low-level discipline, misbehavior or employee relations issues which may be managed by employing authorities are outside the definition of misconduct under the CCM Act.  Examples could include general human resources and performance management issues, grievances around employee relationships, and minor infractions of policies and procedures.

    For more information or assistance please contact the CCC or PSC.

WHAT IS MINOR MISCONDUCT?

  • Minor misconduct should be significant enough that it could reasonably lead to termination of a public officer's employment.

    Minor misconduct, as defined by section 4(d) of the CCM Act, occurs if a public officer engages in conduct that:

    • adversely affects the honest or impartial performance of the functions of a public authority or public officer, whether or not the public officer was acting in their public officer capacity at the time of engaging in the conduct; or
    • involves the performance of functions in a manner that is not honest or impartial; or
    • involves a breach of the trust placed in the public officer; or
    • involves the misuse of information or material that is in connection with their functions as a public officer, whether the misuse is for the benefit of the public officer or the benefit or detriment of another person; and
    • constitutes, or could constitute, a disciplinary offence providing reasonable grounds for termination of a person’s office or employment.

    For more information or assistance please contact the PSC.

WHAT IS SERIOUS MISCONDUCT?

  • Serious misconduct in respect of WA Police includes all police misconduct and reviewable police action.  For other public officers, serious misconduct occurs if a public officer:

    • acts corruptly or corruptly fails to act in the course of their duties; or
    • corruptly takes advantage of their position for the benefit or detriment of any person; or
    • commits an offence, whilst acting or purporting to act in his or her official capapcity, which carries a penalty of 2 or more years imprisonment. 

    For more information please refer to Fact Sheet No. 2 entitled Definition of Serious Misconduct.

WHO IS A PUBLIC OFFICER?

  • A public officer is defined in the  CCM Act by reference to section 1 of  The Criminal Code .  The term "public officer" includes all public sector employees; members of government boards and committees; local government elected officials and employees; employees of public universities; employees of public utilities and some volunteers.

    For more information, please refer to Fact Sheet No. 4 entitled Definition of a Public Officer

WHO DEALS WITH MISCONDUCT IN WA?

  • There are two agencies responsible under the CCM Act for preventing, identifying and dealing effectively and appropriately with misconduct in the public sector of Western Australia.

    The PSC deals with allegations of minor misconduct by public officers (excluding WA Police). For more information refer to the PSC Website or contact the PSC.

    The CCC deals with allegations of serious misconduct by public officers.

    For more information refer to the joint publication entitled Notification of Misconduct in Western Australia. For information about serious misconduct refer to the CCC Notification Guidelines.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE CCC?

  • The CCC's primary purpose is to improve the integrity of, and to reduce the incidence of serious misconduct and corruption in, the public sector. It does this by performing the serious misconduct function set out in the CCM Act. To give effect to that function, the CCC has investigative powers in relation to serious misconduct. The Public Sector Commission (PSC) can investigate minor misconduct. The CCC has a specific anti-corruption and misconduct focus in relation to WA Police and all notifications and reports relating to police misconduct are to be made to the CCC. The CCC may also work cooperatively with the PSC in helping public authorities effectively deal with misconduct. In addition to the serious misconduct function, the CCC has an organised crime function and assists WA Police to combat organised crime by authorising the use of investigative powers not ordinarily available to them.

WHAT IS THE CCC AND WHY WAS IT ESTABLISHED?

  • The CCC was established on 1 January 2004 as a permanent investigative Commission with the same powers as a Royal Commission. It was set up to help public authorities minimise and manage misconduct, and in doing so, improve the integrity of the public sector. In addition, the Commission assists WA Police to combat organised crime by authorising the use of investigative powers not ordinarily available to them The CCC has jurisdiction over Western Australian public officers in WA Police, government departments, government instrumentalities, boards, universities and local governments. The proclamation of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003 ("the CCM Act") on 1 July 2015 focusses the Commission's efforts on dealing with serious misconduct and corruption. It invests its efforts in areas where the risk of serious misconduct and corruption is greatest and where its resources are needed most.

WHO OVERSEES THE CCC?

  • The CCC is an independent investigative commission that reports directly to the Parliament of Western Australia. The Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission has functions which include the power to audit the operation of the CCM Act and the CCC's operations and to deal with misconduct by CCC officers. The Hon Michael Murray, AM, QC is the current Parliamentary Inspector. The CCC is overseen by the Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission (JSCCCC), which is a Parliamentary Committee. The JSCCCC is assisted by the Parliamentary Inspector. For more information please refer to: Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia (PICCC); and Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission (JSCCCC).

WHO CAN REPORT MISCONDUCT?

  • Anyone can report serious misconduct to the CCC. For more information about how to report, refer to Fact Sheet No. 3 entitled .

WHO RUNS THE CCC?

  • The Hon. John McKechnie, QC, is the Corruption and Crime Commissioner, appointed on 1 April 2015, effective from and including 28 April 2015, for a period of five years. The Commissioner is eligible for reappointment once.

    If the Commissioner is unable to perform the functions of his office, there is provision in the CCM Act for an Acting Commissioner to do so. The current Acting Commissioner is Mr Scott Ellis.

    The Executive Team comprises the Commissioner, the Chief Executive and the Directors of the following directorates:

    • Operations;
    • Corporate Services;
    • Legal Services; and
    • Assessment, Strategy and Development.