What is Corruption?

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 corrupt decisions concerning procurement or recruitment, bribery, fraud or stealing, extortion, forgery, perverting the course of justice and deliberately releasing confidential information.

WA public officers

Public officers include all Western Australian government employees. Including WA Police Force officers and employees, members of parliament, local government elected members and employees, all employees of public universities, employees of government trading enterprises, prison officers, teachers, people employed in Government hospitals and health care, and some volunteers.

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

The Commission assesses, investigates and exposes misconduct and reviewable police action in the WA Police Force. It may also assist the WA Police Force to combat the incidence of organised crime when required. 

The Commission also has close and productive professional working relationships with the WA Police Force, and particularly with the Commissioner, senior officers and officers from the Professional Standards portfolio. 

A broader threshold of serious misconduct applies to the WA Police Force as opposed to the rest of the public sector.

Serious misconduct by a police officer includes all types of misconduct, including when a police officer:  

  • breaches police policy including neglect of duty or unprofessional conduct; or
  • whilst acting in their official capacity commits an offence punishable by 2 or more years imprisonment, such as assault causing bodily harm; or 
  • takes advantage of their employment by exercising a lawful power or a discretion, but for an improper purpose or dishonestly; or
  • takes action that is contrary to law, or is unreasonable, unjust or oppressive.