Journalists reporting on matters involving the CCC should understand some of the common terminology used by the CCC to assist with the accuracy of stories.
When a complaint is made to the CCC or a matter is referred from a public sector agency, the complaint or referral contains allegations. Until the CCC or another agency investigates the substance of the allegations and a final outcome is reached, all allegations should be treated as unsubstantiated.
Assessment v Investigation
When the CCC first receives information, a complaint or a notification from a public sector agency, it is assessed to determine what action should be taken. The assessment helps to decide if the matter falls within the CCC's jurisdiction and, if so, whether an investigation is warranted. A decision is then made on whether the CCC investigates or another agency investigates. Read more about how the CCC assesses complaints.
It is important to note an assessment is not an investigation. It is not accurate to categorise a complaint to the CCC as being an investigation. Read more about our investigation process.
"Cleared by the CCC"
If the CCC does not investigate a matter because it does not potentially amount to corrupt conduct as defined in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001, or the CCC's assessment did not raise a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct, that does not automatically mean the CCC has cleared the subject officer. It means the CCC did not have jurisdiction or decided not to investigate the matter.
If the CCC does investigate a matter and determines as a result of the investigation the alleged corrupt conduct did not occur, or for other reasons the CCC determines not to proceed with criminal or disciplinary charges, it may be more appropriate in these circumstances to say the CCC has cleared a subject officer.