ICAC Statement And Summary Of Inspector Findings

NT Government

On 27 May 2024, I provided a referral to the ICAC Inspector, Mr Bruce McClintock SC, under s135(1)(ba) of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2017 regarding allegations raised in the media, about the NT Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC), Mr Michael Riches.

I have now received a report by the ICAC Inspector and provide this a Summary of his findings in relation to these allegations.

The Inspector has advised:

The Inspector found that the allegation that the Commissioner had improperly offered $20 000 to his former wife to suppress an allegation of domestic violence made by Ms Jennifer Riches, not to be true.The Inspector was not able to make a conclusive determination in relation to truth of the allegations pertaining to the ICAC’s former wife’s allegations of domestic violence. Mr Riches, and Ms Jennifer Riches, the ICAC’s former partner, were contacted by, and made submissions to the Inspector, in making these conclusions.The Inspector has concluded that none of the allegations made against the Commissioner could constitute corrupt conduct under s120 of the ICAC Act.The Inspector has also advised me that these matters are having a damaging and acute impact on Commissioner Riches’ health and as a result he is not fit to carry out his duties at this time. The Inspector has advised the Commissioner will require a period of time to focus on his health and recovery.

As advised last week, I have immediately moved to appoint Ms Naomi Loudon as the Acting ICAC, for an indefinite period, to enable the important work of the Office of the ICAC to continue.

Mr McClintock has indicated he will provide ongoing assistance and support to Ms Naomi Loudon in the role of Acting ICAC.

The ICAC Inspector has identified that his report contains confidential information concerning both Mr Riches and Ms Riches allegations and legal documents which are the subject of legal professional privilege, as well as highly confidential medical information, and on this basis it should not be published. The Inspector has informed me that a Summary of the Inspector’s findings, as outlined above, could be provided publicly. I will also be providing this Summary to the Legislative Assembly

The Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, and the Office of the Inspector of the ICAC are essential independent institutions for the integrity and transparency of the Territory’s democracy, and I thank the ICAC Inspector for his independent advice in relation to this matter.

Northern Territory Government

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