New commissioners target NSW corruption

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A former district court judge and Labor government minister has been appointed to lead the NSW corruption watchdog.

John Hatzistergos was announced as the new chief commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Thursday.

Former ACT Supreme Court justice Helen Murrell and former NSW District Court judge Paul Lakatos were named as commissioners.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new commissioners will continue ensuring the integrity and accountability of public administration in NSW and were appointed following an open and merit-based process.

"These individuals have been charged with executing the powerful anti-corruption responsibilities of the ICAC and I expect them to bring their broad expertise and experience to these important roles," he said.

The trio will be appointed to five-year terms and take over from the departing commissioners whose terms end this week.

Chief Commissioner Peter Hall and commissioners Patricia McDonald and Stephen Rushton made highly valuable contributions to the state in their ICAC roles, the premier said.

Mr Hatzistergos and Ms Murrell will commence their roles on Sunday, while Mr Lakatos will begin on September 12.

The incoming chief commissioner of ICAC was the state's attorney-general under Labor from 2008 until 2011, and held other portfolios including justice, industrial relations and fair trading during his 12-year term in the Legislative Council.

The departing Mr Hall told budget estimates in April the commission's key performance indicators had been revised down and reports were being delayed due to a lack of funding and staff.

"It means that matters that we would have pursued we just simply can't afford to spend time and resources on because there are other matters of a complex nature which are sucking up the resources, particularly where there are multiple people involved," he said.

Mr Perrottet announced a new funding model in May allowing the commission to apply to Treasury for additional funds, with a specialist unit in the department deciding whether it gets them.

Despite the ICAC advocating for an independent body to fund its work, Mr Perrottet said that's not how the system works.

"You have to have an executive that makes the final decisions," he said.

The premier said while the ICAC may not support the approach entirely, he believed it would address the agency's concerns.

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