National Anti-Corruption Commission

What is the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)?

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is an independent government agency established in Australia to detect, investigate, and report on serious or systemic corrupt conduct within the Australian government’s public sector.

It commenced operations on 1 July 2023 following the passing of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022 and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2022 on 30 November 2022.

What is corrupt conduct and what can the commission investigate?

Conduct must:

  • Involve (or could involve) a public official, 
  • Be (or could be) corrupt conduct under the NACC act, and
  • Likely be serious or systemic 

Public officials under the NACC Act include

  • Members of the Commonwealth parliament and their staff
  • Employees and contractors of Commonwealth agencies and Commonwealth companies,
  • Holders of commonwealth statutory offices
  • Consultants and contracted providers
  • Anyone can make a voluntary referral to the commission
  • Mandatory Referrals: Agency heads and authorised officers under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID officers) have a mandatory obligation under the NACC act.

Investigative options and potential outcomes

Investigative powers:

  • Enter Commonwealth premises and require Commonwealth information without a warrant
  • Make people and organisations give the NACC documents and items and allow the NACC to search their property
  • Conduct private hearings and, hold public hearings only if there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ which justify a public hearing, and it is otherwise in the ‘public interest’ (s73 of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022 (Cth)).
  • Access a range of covert investigative capabilities, such as intercepting telecommunications

If the referral raises a corruption issue under the NACC act, the commission may deal with it in one or more of the following ways:

  • Commence a preliminary investigation
  • Investigate the issue alone or in partnership with the relevant commonwealth or state or territory government entity
  • Refer the issue to the commonwealth agency to which the corruption issue relates, for them to investigate (if satisfied that the agency has the appropriate capabilities to investigate)
  • Take no action. However, the commission is not required to consider or take action in response to every referral in receives.


  • the commissioner must detail the opinions, findings and recommendations in a report.
  • A report cannot be finalised until those who are subject to critical findings have had an opportunity to respond. 



O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

Scroll to Top