Funding for the National Anti-Corruption Commission

by Mahendra Chitrarasu

The Budget delivers the funding for a National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) with teeth. It comes five years after the National Integrity Committee of former judges formed to make the case for a strong national integrity commission.

The Commonwealth Government has pledged $262.6 million over 4 years to establish and resource the NACC. This funding includes:

  • $222.9 million over 3 years from 2023–24 (and $67.4 million per year ongoing) for the NACC’s operations.
  • $27.5 million for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) to prepare for its transition into the NACC.
  • $7.6 million over 4 years from 2022–23 (and $0.7 million per year ongoing) for the Attorney-General’s Department to support the establishment of the NACC.
  • $1.9 million over 3 years from 2023–24 (and $0.6 million per year ongoing) to the Attorney-General’s Department for the NACC’s Inspector and support staff.

This is 60 per cent more funding per year to the NACC than what was proposed by the previous Government for the Commonwealth Integrity Commission. It includes $167 million in existing funding for ACLEI and money set aside in the contingency reserve for the Commonwealth Integrity Commission.

The National Integrity Committee’s principles for designing an integrity commission warn that it is vital that the Commission is adequately resourced, and its independence protected. As well as robust funding, the NACC requires secure funding – it would be inappropriate for a future government to limit the NACC’s funding to hobble its work.

While debate continues on the exact form the NACC should take, this Budget is another milestone on the road towards an anti-corruption watchdog with teeth.

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