The New South Wales Crime Commission ('the Commission') is a statutory corporation established by subsection 7 (1) of the Crime Commission Act 2012 ('the Act'). The Act was assented to on 24 September 2012, repealing the New South Wales Crime Commission Act 1985. The life of the Commission commenced on 20 January 1986 with the appointment of the Commission's first Members by the then Governor.
Since 6 December 1996, the Commission has had a Commissioner. The Commissioner is appointed by the Governor pursuant to subsection 8 (1) of the Act. The Governor may, with the concurrence of the Commissioner, appoint two or more Assistant Commissioners for the Commission pursuant to subsection 9 (1) of the Act, at least one of whom must have special legal qualifications.
Pursuant to section 3 of the Act, the principal objective of the Act is to reduce the incidence of organised and other serious crime.
The principal functions of the Commission, as set out by subsection 10 (1) of the Act, are as follows:
- to investigate matters relating to a relevant criminal activity or serious crime concern referred to the Commission by the Management Committee for investigation;
- to assemble evidence that would be admissible in the prosecution of a person for a relevant offence arising out of any such matters and to furnish any such evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions;
- to furnish evidence obtained in the course of its investigations (being evidence that would be admissible in the prosecution of a person for an indictable offence against the law of the Commonwealth or another State or Territory) to the Attorney General or to the appropriate authority in the jurisdiction concerned;
- to reinvestigate matters relating to any criminal activity that were the subject of a police inquiry (being an inquiry referred for reinvestigation to the Commission by the Management Committee) and to furnish its findings to the Committee together with any recommendation as to action the Commission considers should be taken in relation to those findings;
- to furnish in accordance with the Act reports relating to organised and other crime, which include, where appropriate, recommendations for changes in the laws of the State;
- to provide investigatory, technological and analytical services to such persons or bodies as the Commission thinks fit; and
- with the approval of the Management Committee, to work in co-operation with such persons or authorities of the Commonwealth, the State or another State or Territory (including any task force and any member of a task force) as the Commission considers appropriate.
By subsection 49 (1) of the Act, there is constituted a New South Wales Crime Commission Management Committee. Subsection 50 (1) of the Act prescribes that the Management Committee is to consist of the following five members:
- an independent Chairperson appointed by the Minister;
- the Commissioner of Police;
- the Chair of the Board of the Australian Crime Commission;
- the Commissioner; and
- the Secretary of the Department of Justice or a senior executive of that Department nominated by the Secretary.
The principal functions of the Management Committee, as set out in subsection 51 (1) of the Act, are:
- to refer (by a written notice in accordance with section 54 of the Act) matters relating to relevant criminal activities to the Commission for investigation;
- to refer (by a written notice in accordance with section 54 of the Act) matters relating to serious crime concerns to the Commission for investigation;
- to refer (by a written notice in accordance with section 54 of the Act) to the Commission, for reinvestigation, police inquiries into matters relating to any criminal activities;
- to make arrangements (in accordance with section 58 of the Act) for task forces to assist the Commission in carrying out its functions;
- to review and monitor generally the work of the Commission; and
- to give approvals for the purposes of section 13 of the Act (liaison with other bodies).
Inspector of the Commission
Pursuant to subsection 61 (1) of the Act, the Governor may appoint an Inspector of the New South Wales Crime Commission.
The principal functions of the Inspector, as set out in subsection 62 (1) of the Act, are:
- to audit the operations of the Commission for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the law of the State;
- to deal with (by reports and recommendations) complaints of abuse of power, impropriety and other forms of misconduct on the part of the Commission or officers of the Commission;
- to deal with (by reports and recommendations) conduct amounting to maladministration (including, without limitation, delay in the conduct of investigations and unreasonable invasions of privacy) by the Commission or officers of the Commission; and
- to assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the procedures of the Commission relating to the legality or propriety of its activities.
Parliamentary Joint Committee
Section 70 of the Act defines 'Joint Committee' to mean the joint committee called the Committee on the Ombudsman, the Police Integrity Commission and the Crime Commission constituted under the Ombudsman Act 1974.
The Joint Committee has the following functions under section 71 of the Act:
- to monitor and review the exercise by the Commission, the Management Committee and the Inspector of their functions;
- to report to both Houses of Parliament, with such comments as it thinks fit, on any matter appertaining to the Commission, the Management Committee or the Inspector or connected with the exercise of their functions to which, in the opinion of the Joint Committee, the attention of Parliament should be directed;
- to examine each annual and other report of the Commission and of the Inspector and report to both Houses of Parliament on any matter appearing in, or arising out of, any such report; and
- to inquire into any question in connection with its functions which is referred to it by both Houses of Parliament, and report to both Houses on that question.
The Commission also administers the Criminal Assets Recovery Act 1990.