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About inquiries

Under the IGIS Act, the IGIS can conduct an inquiry on the basis of a complaint, on the IGIS's own motion, or in response to a ministerial request. In respect of inquiries the Act provides certain immunities and protections. It also allows the IGIS to use strong coercive powers including to compel the production of information and documents, to enter premises occupied or used by a Commonwealth agency, to require the attendance of persons to answer questions relevant to the matter under inquiry, to administer an oath or affirmation and examine the person on that oath or affirmation.

The IGIS Act provides persons who have given information under compulsion with protection from any penalty under Commonwealth or Territory law that would ordinarily arise from disclosing that information. The responsible minister is advised when the IGIS begins an inquiry into an agency, and is also advised of any conclusions or recommendations arising from the inquiry. The IGIS also provides opportunities for ministers, agency heads and affected individuals to comment during the course of an inquiry.

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