The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Commissioner, the Hon Jerrold Cripps QC, has called on local community leaders in Kiama to continue reporting suspected corrupt conduct.
The Commissioner was addressing more than 50 people at a breakfast hosted by the Commission as part of its Outreach visit to the Illawarra, attended by representatives from local councils, state government agencies, local business people and interest groups.
Commissioner Cripps said that community leaders should encourage those who come to them for advice to report even apparently minor corrupt conduct.
"This is one way of trying to avoid the steady progression to more serious misconduct that history has shown us inevitably occurs," he said.
"The community has a right to expect that public officials at all levels perform their duties in a fair and unbiased way. The decisions they make should not be affected by self interest, private affiliations, or the likelihood of personal gain or loss.
"Public official or not, everyone can play an important role in helping combat corruption," he said.
The Commissioner said that corruption not only causes financial costs to a community but it can also erode public confidence in the agency that has failed to manage its corruption risks.
"The public inquiry into Wollongong City Council is an example of how an investigation can impact not only on an organisation, but on the local community as well," he said.
"The $19 million in improperly awarded contracts involving RailCorp that the Commission uncovered last year also demonstrates the public financial costs of corrupt conduct."
Commissioner Cripps’ tenure at the ICAC will end next week.