When someone acts corruptly they tend to show a deliberate intent, an improper purpose or motivation, and may involve conduct such as:

  • deliberately failing to perform the functions of office properly;
  • exercising power or duty for an improper purpose;
  • or dishonesty.

Some examples include blackmail, bribery, fraud or stealing, extortion, forgery, perverting the course of justice and deliberately releasing confidential information.

WA public officers

For public officers, serious misconduct must involve corrupt and/or criminal conduct described in sections 4(a), (b) and (c) of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act. This occurs when 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, while acting or purporting to act in his or her official capacity, which carries a penalty of 2 or more years' imprisonment.

For more information please refer to Fact Sheet No. 2 Definition of Serious Misconducand Fact Sheet No. 3 Definition of public officer.

WA Police Force

For WA Police Force, all types of misconduct described in section 4 of the Act and conduct described as 'reviewable police action', are called 'police misconduct'.

The Act includes police misconduct in its definition of serious misconduct. The Commission deals with all allegations of misconduct relating to the WA Police Force.