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You are here: Home Investigating corruption What the CCC investigates What is corrupt conduct?
You are here: Home Investigating corruption What the CCC investigates What is corrupt conduct?
You are here: Home Investigating corruption What the CCC investigates What is corrupt conduct?

What is corrupt conduct?

Under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001, there are now two different types of corrupt conduct.

“Type A” corrupt conduct involves conduct that affects, or could affect, a public officer (an employee of a public sector agency) so that the performance of their functions or the exercise of their powers:

  • is not honest or impartial, or
  • knowingly or recklessly breaches public trust, or
  • involves the misuse of agency-related information or material.

Common examples of Type A corrupt conduct include fraud and theft, extortion, unauthorised release of information, obtaining or offering a secret commission and nepotism.

"Type B" corrupt conduct involves specific types of conduct that impair, or could impair, public confidence in public administration. This may include:

  • collusive tendering, or
  • fraud relating to an application for a licence, permit or other authority relating to public health or safety; the environment; or the State's natural, cultural, mining or energy resources, or
  • dishonestly obtaining public funds or State assets, or
  • evading a State tax, levy or duty or fraudulently causing a loss of State revenue, or
  • fraudulently obtaining or retaining an appointment.

Both Type A and Type B corrupt conduct must be either a criminal offence or serious enough to warrant dismissal.

See the legal definition of corrupt conduct (section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act).

How to determine what is corrupt conduct

Each type of corrupt conduct has three essential elements, which are listed in the tables below. Ask yourself the related questions. To be corrupt conduct, the answer must be Yes to all three questions for either Type A or Type B. If not, it is unlikely that the conduct would amount to corrupt conduct under the Crime and Corruption Act.

 

Key questions for determining corrupt conduct - Type AResponses
1. Effect of the conduct. Does the conduct adversely affect, or have the potential to adversely affect, how a public agency or public official carries out their duties or exercises their powers? Y/N

2. Result of the conduct. Has the conduct resulted, or could result in the performance of duties or exercise of powers in a way that:

  • is not honest or impartial, or
  • involves a breach of the trust placed in a person holding an appointment in a public agency, either knowingly or recklessly, or
  • involves a misuse of information or other material related to the performance of powers or exercise of functions of a person holding an appointment in a public agency?
Y/N
3. Criminal offence or serious disciplinary breach. If proved, would the conduct be a criminal offence, or a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for dismissal, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment? Y/N
Key questions for determining corrupt conduct - Type BResponses
1. Effect of the conduct. Does the conduct impair, or have the potential to impair, public confidence in public administration? Y/N

2. Type of conduct. Has the conduct resulted, or could result in the performance of duties or exercise of powers in a way that:

  • collusive tendering, or
  • fraud relating to an application for a licence, permit or other authority for protecting people’s health or safety, protecting the environment, or protecting or managing the use of the State’s natural, cultural, mining or energy resources, or
  • dishonestly obtaining or helping to obtain a benefit from the payment or application of public funds or the disposition of State assets, or
  • evading a State tax, levy or duty or otherwise fraudulently causing a loss of State revenue, or
  • fraudulently obtaining or retaining an appointment?
Y/N
3. Seriousness of the conduct. If proved, would the conduct be a criminal offence, or a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for dismissal, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment in a public agency? Y/N

Last updated: 01 March 2019
Knowingly and recklessly definition

In relation to a breach of trust:

  • “knowingly” can be taken to mean that the person knew that their actions were a breach of the trust placed in them
  • “recklessly” can be taken to mean that, while the person did not necessarily know that their actions were a breach of trust, they were aware that there was a real and apparent risk that the conduct would amount to a breach of trust and the person nevertheless engaged in the conduct.

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