Ron Bonighton AM has been appointed as acting commissioner of Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
Announcing the appointment, Premier Ted Baillieu said Mr Bonighton would serve as acting commissioner to establish IBAC’s operations and begin implementing its education and prevention functions.
“This is an important moment for Victoria,” Mr Baillieu said.
“Mr Bonighton is the ideal candidate to establish IBAC and I am confident that he will deliver on the Commission’s goal of ensuring the highest integrity across the entire Victorian public sector.”
Minister responsible for the establishment of an anti-corruption commission, Andrew McIntosh, said the appointment was another significant step in fulfilling the Coalition’s pledge to reform Victoria’s integrity regime.
“With the commencement of IBAC on 1 July 2012, for the first time Victoria will have an Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission covering the entire public sector, including MPs, government departments, statutory authorities, local councils and other public agencies,” Mr McIntosh said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered on its commitment to establishing an independent anti-corruption commission as the flagship of our integrity reforms, something Labor failed to do in 11 years of government.”
Mr Bonighton will continue to serve as acting director of the Office of Police Integrity (OPI) after his appointment to IBAC, allowing him to lead the transition between the two bodies’ functions.
Mr Bonighton, who is originally from Victoria, has worked in the defence and intelligence fields for nearly 40 years, and has held a variety of intelligence collection, analysis and management positions in Australia and overseas.
He headed the information security branch of the Defence Signals Directorate and was later promoted to the position of deputy director of intelligence and finally director.
In 2003 Mr Bonighton was promoted to deputy secretary of intelligence and security and in 2004 was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Monash University.
Mr McIntosh said Mr Bonighton would ensure IBAC was staffed and operational in anticipation of the Commonwealth granting IBAC its telecommunications intercept powers, and its investigative powers coming on-line, at which time the OPI will cease to exist.
“IBAC has its education and prevention functions in place, which means Mr Bonighton will be able to begin the critical work of educating about corruption and its negative effects, and proactively preventing corruption,” Mr McIntosh said.
“Education and prevention are recognised by experts as key components of an effective anti-corruption system and will best position IBAC for long-term success and service to the Victorian community.”
The IBAC will be able to report to Parliament directly on its education and prevention functions and, if it considers it necessary, make recommendations on how to better prevent corruption.
The IBAC will commence in dedicated premises, separate from existing OPI offices. As acting commissioner IBAC and acting director OPI, it will be a matter for Mr Bonighton to determine how he allocates his time between the two offices.
“I congratulate Mr Bonighton on this appointment and trust he will make a valuable contribution to Victoria’s integrity system,” Mr Baillieu said.