Oversight Bodies

In Australia, government oversight bodies play a vital role in ensuring transparency, accountability, and adherence to laws and regulations across various sectors.

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Federal Oversight Bodies

These entities are tasked with monitoring the actions and decisions of government agencies, public officials, and organisations to prevent misconduct, corruption, and malpractice.

The Australian National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is a key oversight body responsible for preventing and investigating corruption within federal agencies. Its mandate is to maintain public trust and confidence in government by ensuring high standards of conduct and integrity.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is another crucial oversight body that audits and scrutinizes government financial activities and performances. It ensures that taxpayer funds are used efficiently and effectively, highlighting any financial irregularities or mismanagement.

State Based Oversight Bodies

At the state level there are equivalent bodies. Each state has a commission against corruption. There are also bodies that oversee law enforcement and other functional areas of government. State based tribunals also exist to give public oversight on governmental decisions.

Failures Despite Oversight

Despite the presence of oversight bodies, there have been instances of failures and shortcomings. The Banking Royal Commission uncovered systemic misconduct within the financial sector, revealing failures in regulation and oversight. The commission exposed unethical practices that significantly impacted customers and eroded trust in the banking and financial industry.

Similarly, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety highlighted failures in the oversight and quality of aged care services. The commission exposed instances of neglect, abuse, and substandard care in aged care facilities, urging comprehensive reforms and increased government intervention to address these issues.

Need to Strengthen Oversight

These failures underscore the need for strengthening oversight mechanisms and ensuring they have adequate resources and authority to effectively carry out their responsibilities. It’s essential to continuously review and reform oversight frameworks to adapt to evolving challenges and prevent future failures.

Efforts are being made to enhance oversight effectiveness. This includes increasing penalties for misconduct, improving reporting mechanisms, and conducting regular performance reviews of oversight bodies. The aim is to create a robust oversight system that holds government agencies and organizations accountable, ultimately promoting good governance and public trust.


  1. The National Ant-Corruption Commission
  2. The Australian National Audit Office
  3. VCAT
  4. NCAT
  5. Independent Commission Against Corruption
  6. Independent Broadbased Anti-Corruption Commission
  7. Law Enforcement Conduct Commission