Powers to investigate organised crime could be effectively added to the Corruption and Crime Commission's operations, according to the new parliamentary inspector who will oversee the watchdog.
Former Supreme Court Justice Michael Murray, whose appointment will be announced by Attorney-General Michael Mischin today, also supports the power to hold private hearings in appropriate cases as a necessary part of the CCC's armoury.
Mr Murray, who retired in January last year after 22 years on the Supreme Court bench, said he would not enter into debate about controversial legislation shelved by Premier Colin Barnett last year that would have allowed the CCC and police to conduct joint investigations into organised crime.
He said he supported the broad concept of giving the CCC a role in investigating organised crime.
"I think this is an area which can be effectively added to the commission's ambit of operations," Mr Murray said.
"But because the legislation has fallen in a heap, whether it will ever or eventually come before Parliament in a form which would command support remains to be seen."
Mr Murray said he was attracted to the position of parliamentary inspector, which includes responsibility for auditing the watchdog's operations and dealing with complaints against the commission, because it was important to ensure the oversight of work which was often covert and secretive.
Mr Murray said ensuring the effective use of CCC officers' time and the proper expenditure of public money were also important aspects of the role.
"I do see this as being an important safeguard for the proper operation of the commission, which necessarily has to have a fair degree of freedom of action," he said.
"This is a check and balance which makes it clear to Parliament that it is working properly and within its boundaries."
Mr Murray's three-year appointment comes after the resignation in June last year of former parliamentary inspector Christopher Steytler.
The role has been filled in an acting position by Chris Zelestis.
Mr Murray was admitted to legal practice in 1965 and his career has included appointments as Crown Counsel, which led to his extensive review of the Criminal Code, and president of the Law Society.
Since retiring from the bench, he has remained chairman of the juvenile parole board and is an adjunct professor of law at Murdoch University.
Mr Mischin said Mr Murray's extensive legal background and experience made him an excellent choice to lead the Office of the Parliamentary Inspector.