Corruption watchdog gets broad backing

Australia appears on track to have a national integrity watchdog legislated before the end of the year after a unanimous inquiry report was tabled in parliament on Thursday.

The committee, chaired by Labor senator Linda White and deputy chaired by independent MP Helen Haines, made six recommendations for amendments, including a change to what is defined as "corrupt conduct" and clarifying to what extent journalistic sources will be protected.

But it made no recommendation regarding public hearings, which the bill dictates can only be heard in "exceptional circumstances".

Both independents and the Greens have taken issue with that, with Dr Haines declaring she will move amendments when the bill is introduced in parliament.

"The exceptional circumstances clause does not need to be there ... what I've sought to do is remove it, or define it, we took a lot of evidence that supported my view around that," she told reporters.

Asked if the "exceptional circumstances" test had been added to the bill by the government to secure opposition support, Dr Haines noted the attorney-general's department had used public interest immunity to refuse to say when the clause was inserted.

"That was an important piece of information to be brought out ... it was a clause added to the drafting of the bill that came as a surprise to me and many people in parliament," she said.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, who was hopeful the bill could pass this year given the unanimous report, denied any deal had been done with the opposition.

"I don't think there's much to be gained by going back and looking at drafts of this bill," he told reporters.

"We've had some changes in the way we've approached the final form of this bill ... what's important is the bill is now to be debated in parliament."

The Albanese government will need the support of the Greens and one crossbencher to get the legislation for the body, to be known as the National Anti-Corruption Commission, through the Senate.

Greens senator David Shoebridge added his party's voice to calls for more public hearings, although he said it would back the bill if the clause remained.

"There'll be far less scrutiny, not just of the federal government ... but also of the NACC itself," he told reporters.

"We should be allowing more public hearings, for the very good reason that sunlight is a bloody good disinfectant when it comes to corruption."

The commission would independently investigate and report on serious or systemic corruption in the Commonwealth public sector, refer evidence of corrupt conduct for prosecution, and undertake education and prevention activities regarding corruption.

Other report recommendations include clarifying when the commission can undertake its own investigations and creating an exemption for disclosure of information to medical professionals.

Mr Dreyfus said the bill would be debated later this month.

Parliament is scheduled to rise for the year on December 1.