Commonwealth Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission releases Report

The Commonwealth Senate Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission has recommended that the Commonwealth Government give "careful consideration" to the establishment of a Commonwealth agency to address integrity and corruption matters. The report notes that "there is no clear best-practice model that emerges from an examination of" existing state-based agencies that "could simply be adopted wholesale at a federal level, in the event that a national integrity commission were to be established." The dissenting report recommended the immediate establishment of a national integrity commission.

To view the report, please click here.

Parliamentary Joint Committee releases recommendations on whistleblower protections

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has released a report on whistleblower protections in the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors. Key recommendations of the Committee's report include:

  • harmonising and broadening legislative protections for whistleblowers in the private sector;
  • the establishment of a Whistleblower Protection Authority to support whistleblowers and conduct investigations of reprisals; and that
  • the proposed Authority be empowered to give a reward to a whistleblower referable to a percentage of the penalty imposed by the Court against the whistleblower's employer or principal.

To view the report, please click here.

Global leaders commit to eradicating modern slavery at forum in Perth, Australia

Global business leaders and politicians from 45 countries committed to ending human trafficking, forced labor and modern slavery at a recent landmark gathering in Perth, Australia. The commitment was made at the inaugural meeting of the Bali Process Government and Business Forum. A link to our update on the forum is here. The forum follows from Australia's recent parliamentary inquiries into the adoption of a Modern Slavery Act. The Australian Government is currently consulting on its proposal to introduce a modern slavery reporting requirement for large Australian companies.

ASIC releases report on enforcement outcomes from the first half of 2017

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has released its report on enforcement outcomes for the period 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017. Fifty investigations have been commenced and eighty completed in this period, with five persons charged in criminal proceedings. To view the report, click here.

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017 introduced into House of Representatives

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017 (Cth) was introduced into the House of Representatives on Thursday 17 August 2017. A copy of the bill is available here. The Bill implements the first phase of reforms from a comprehensive review of Australia's anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, and proposes a number of changes including a strengthening of AUSTRAC's investigation and enforcement powers and extending the regime to cover digital currencies. The Bill has been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 16 October 2017.

AUSTRAC and ACNC report identifies charitable sector as target for money laundering and terrorist financing

Australia’s first risk assessment of charities and non-profit organisations has revealed that the sector is at a "medium risk" of being targeted by money launders and supporters of international terrorism. The risk assessment, released by AUSTRAC and the Australian Charities & Not-for-profits Commission ("ACNC"), evaluated 257,000 registered non-profit organisations in Australia, which attract $134 billion in contributions each year. From 2012 to 2016, the report found 28 cases of suspected terrorism financing worth $5.6 million involving charities that funnel donations overseas. The full report can be accessed here.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission releases report on organised crime in Australia

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has released the 2017 edition of 'Organised Crime in Australia'. The report identifies six key enablers for serious and organised crime, being money laundering, technology, professional facilitators, public sector corruption, violence and intimidation. To view the report, click here.