Minor misconduct

Joint Commissioners’ Forum - Understanding the new integrity landscape

On Friday 3 July 2015, the PSC and CCC hosted a Joint Commissioners' Forum to outline their new roles under the new integrity landscape.

The full video and transcript from the forum is available.

In December 2014, Parliament passed the Corruption and Crime Commission Amendment (Misconduct) Act 2014 (CCM Act). The changes make the Public Sector Commission (PSC) responsible for the oversight of minor misconduct of public officers and for misconduct prevention and education programs. The Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) will now focus its attention on police misconduct, and on serious misconduct and corruption.

For public authorities, the change means that all notifications of suspected minor misconduct are made to the PSC rather than to the CCC. The CCC and PSC’s joint information resource, Notification of misconduct in Western Australia details requirements. Principal officers may also find fact sheet 3 useful in understanding their responsibilities around minor misconduct.

Misconduct prevention and education programs for public officers will also be delivered by the PSC. These new integrity promotion activities complement and expand on established PSC programs that assist public authorities to develop, implement and promote effective codes of conduct, integrity policies and related systems and processes.

Members of the public wishing to report misconduct may find fact sheet 4 on reporting misconduct useful in understanding how to report.

An overview of misconduct arrangements operating in West Australia is provided in these web pages and supporting documents.

Who and what is covered under the misconduct provisions

Misconduct under the CCM Act can only be committed by a public officer, which is generally anyone using public resources to carry out a public function under a written law.

The table below shows the different jurisdictions between PSC and the CCC, including the different roles in misconduct prevention and education and capability development under the CCM Act.

 

CCC's jurisdiction

PSC's jurisdiction

Police misconduct

  • Any misconduct by a member of the Police Force, employee of the Police Department or a person seconded to perform functions, services or duties for the Police Department
  • Reviewable police actions

 

Serious misconduct

  • Employees of public sector departments, organisations and statutory authorities, local governments, public universities and government trading enterprises
  • Chairpersons and members of many public sector boards and committees
  • Western Australian members of Parliament, and Parliamentary clerks
  • Members of the Western Australian judiciary (in limited circumstances)
  • Local government councils (including Mayors and elected members)

 

Minor misconduct

 

  • Employees of public sector departments, organisations and statutory authorities, local governments, public universities and government trading enterprises
  • Chairpersons and members of many public sector boards and committees

But not:

  • Police (see police misconduct above left)
  • Elected members in State or Local Government
  • A Clerk of a house of Parliament

Prevention and education role

  • Misconduct prevention and education role for Police
  • Discretionary capability development function in responding to serious misconduct matters (in cooperation with PSC)
  • The misconduct prevention and education role encompasses serious and minor misconduct. PSC to be supported by the CCC, other independent agencies and appropriate authorities, in undertaking the prevention and education functions

What the changes mean in practice

For principal officers

Under section 45H of the CCM Act, principal officers (normally a CEO or Director General) are required to notify the PSC of all reasonable suspicions of minor misconduct in writing. Under section 28 of the CCM Act principal officers are required to notify all reasonable suspicions of serious misconduct to the CCC. Principal officers must now make an informed decision about whether a matter constitutes minor or serious misconduct as defined in the CCM Act, and notify either the PSC or the CCC accordingly.

Public authorities will have to amend their notification practices to accommodate the changes. The CCC and the PSC have prepared a joint information resource Notification of misconduct in Western Australia to assist principal officers to make appropriate notifications.

For information on how to notify the PSC of minor misconduct, principal officers can read the Reporting misconduct to the PSC page and may also find fact sheet 3 a useful resource.

For members of the Western Australian community

Under section 45E of the CCM Act, anyone can report any reasonable suspicion of minor misconduct involving a public officer to the PSC. Fact sheet 4 provides useful information to members of the community who are thinking about reporting misconduct. We encourage members of the public to call PSC’s Advisory service on 08 6552 8888 and speak with a consultant before reporting.

Under section 25 of the CCM Act anyone can report any reasonable suspicion of serious misconduct to the CCC. See the CCC website for further details about its reporting process.


Page last updated 28 January 2016