18 September, 2023
Putting integrity at the heart of the NSW Government
The funding of integrity agencies is being put at arm’s length and agencies will receive an additional $228.6 million in new expenditure over 10 years to help them continue to deliver their valuable work.
New arrangements announced today by the Minns Labor Government will safeguard the independence of the state’s five key integrity agencies and ensure they remain adequately resourced to maintain their key role in upholding our democracy.
Building on recommendations of a 2020 Public Accountability Committee Report and a 2022 report published by the Auditor-General, the NSW Government will implement a transparent budget management model for the following agencies:
- Audit Office of New South Wales
- the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
- the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission
- the New South Wales Electoral Commission
- the New South Wales Ombudsman’s Office.
Under the new model, the agencies have been permanently removed from the Department of Premier and the Cabinet Office financial management processes and excluded from efficiency dividends.
Other permanent measures to ensure agency independence include:
- a specialist integrity agency unit within NSW Treasury to manage representations of agency funding needs and provide agencies with information on their funding outcomes.
- the ability for agencies to review Treasury’s advice to Cabinet on funding bids and provide their own advice directly to Cabinet.
- transparent reporting of Cabinet budget decisions impacting agencies to the relevant supervising committee of the Parliament.
The upcoming 2023-24 Budget will include extra funding:
- $75.6m in additional net expenditure for the NSW Electoral Commission for the 2024 Local Government Elections over 2023-24 and 2024-25.
- $49.4m in new expenditure and $9.8m in new capital expenditure over 10 years for the ICAC to address both immediate and long-term operation and service delivery needs.
· $30.5 million in expenditure over 10 years for the Ombudsman to carry out additional duties prescribed in legislation and meet additional service requirements.
- $21.1 million in expenditure over 10 years for the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission to meet its growing remit and oversight activities.
NSW Special Minister of State John Graham said, “$228.6 million in new expenditure to the state’s key integrity agencies will alleviate previous resourcing pressures and allow them to continue their work investigating, exposing, and preventing corruption and maladministration.
“This new model, along with new funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting our integrity agencies.”