The Inspector is appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Executive but Parliament’s Committee on the Ombudsman, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission and the Crime Commission is empowered to veto such appointments by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission Act 2016 (LECC Act) within time periods specified by the legislation.
The role of the Inspector is set out in Part 9 of the LECC Act. The legislation states that the Inspector is not subject to the LECC in any way. The Inspector’s Office is located in different premises from those of the LECC.
The Inspector’s functions are set out in Part 9 of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission Act 2016 (LECC Act). The Inspector has the following principal functions:
- to audit the operations of the Commission for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the law of the State, and
- to deal with (by reports and recommendations) conduct amounting to agency maladministration on the part of the Commission and conduct amounting to officer misconduct or officer maladministration on the part of officers of the Commission, whether or not the subject of a complaint (Commission misconduct matters), and
- to assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the policies and procedures of the Commission relating to the legality or propriety of its activities.
The Inspector also has additional but distinct functions as an inspecting officer under various enactments which govern covert warrants in NSW including:
- controlled operations
- surveillance devices
- telecommunications interceptions
- covert search warrants, and
- criminal organisation search warrants.
The Inspector has extensive powers to investigate the conduct of the LECC and its officers. The Inspector may do any of the following:
- investigate any aspect of the Commission’s operations or any conduct of officers of the Commission,
- require officers of the Commission to supply information or produce documents or other things about any matter, or any kind of matter, relating to the Commission’s operations or any conduct of officers of the Commission,
- require officers of the Commission to attend before the Inspector to answer questions or produce documents or other things relating to the Commission’s operations or any conduct of officers of the Commission,
- investigate and assess Commission misconduct matters,
- refer matters relating to the Commission or officers of the Commission to other agencies for consideration or action,
- recommend disciplinary action or criminal prosecution against officers of the Commission.
In addition, the Inspector has the powers, authorities, protections and immunities conferred on a commissioner by Division 1 of Part 2 of the Royal Commissions Act 1923 and that Act (section 13 excepted) applies to any witness summoned by or appearing before the Inspector in the same way as it applies to a witness summoned by or appearing before a commissioner.
Limits of Inspector’s Jurisdiction
The Inspector’s principal functions and powers relate solely to complaints about the conduct of the LECC and/or its officers. The Inspector cannot deal with complaints about the conduct of other public agencies and officials. Nor can the Inspector deal directly with complaints about the NSW Police Force or the NSW Crime Commission, which is a matter for the LECC.
Who is the Inspector of the LECC?
Mr Bruce McClintock SC commenced his appointment as the Inspector of the LECC on 1 July 2022.
Mr McClintock graduated from the Australian National University in 1975 (BA, LLB(Hons)) and Columbia University in 1978 (LLM).
He was called to the Bar in 1983 after practising as a solicitor in Sydney and an attorney in New York. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 1996.
The Inspector’s contact details are:
Mr Bruce McClintock SC
Inspector of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission
GPO Box 5341
Sydney NSW 2001