IBAC – Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission
What is IBAC?
- IBAC is an independent body with the legislative power to investigate public sector corruption and misconduct in government organisations including Ambulance Victoria and ESTA.
- IBAC was established in 2011 under the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (IBAC Act).
What does IBAC investigate?
- Improper or unlawful actions by public sector staff or agencies
- Inactions of public sector staff or agencies
- Actions of private individuals who try to improperly influence public sector functions or decisions
- Misuse of power to harm, oppress or disadvantage a person
- Failure to disclose a conflict of interest
- Taking or offering bribes
- Dishonestly using influence
- Committing fraud, theft or embezzlement
- Misusing information or material acquired at work
- Conspiring or attempting to engage in the above corrupt activity
- How organisations prevent and deal with the above corrupt activity
What powers does IBAC have?
- Compel the production of documents and objects
- Enter and search premises
- Seize documents and objects
- Use surveillance devices
- Intercept telecommunications
- Hold private and public hearings
- Require people to give evidence at a hearing (coercive powers)
- Refer individuals for further investigation or prosecution for failure to comply
(Failure to co-operate with, provide answers to or lie to IBAC can result in severe penalties up to and including jail time).
How does this apply to Ambulance?
An Ambulance Victoria or ESTA employee is a holder of public office and is therefore subject to the IBAC Act 2011. It is important that members are aware of IBAC’s existence and potential areas where IBAC may take an interest within the Ambulance arena.
Examples of behaviours that may be investigated IBAC include:
- Taking of property from work without proper permission (taking bandages for the footy club, IV fluids or cannulas for use outside of work)
- Using AV equipment or work vehicle outside its authorised use for personal purposes
- Accepting benefits such as free food or drinks whilst on or off shift due to employment
- Using your position as a paramedic to bypass the triage que at hospital
- Using information gained through employment to benefit other persons or entities
- False entries in restricted medication register (RMR)
- Fraudulently claiming allowances or payment you are not entitled to claim
- Potential influence or association with criminal elements
What is the AEA-V’s role in dealing with IBAC?
The AEA-V is unable to represent members in IBAC hearings however the Union will assist members in attaining legal advice. The AEA-V represents members in industrial disputes and will assist in dealing with disciplinary outcomes that may be a result of the IBAC process.
If you are investigated by IBAC the process can be very intimidating and confusing. Members should contact the AEA-V as soon as possible and we will refer members for legal advice and provide all the support allowable under legislation to the member.
It is important not to be afraid of IBACs existence but that you consider their area of responsibility and ensure you are not putting yourself in danger.
For more information members should visit the IBAC website at www.ibac.vic.gov.au and read reports on investigations into other public sector entities.
Acting General Secretary