The ACT's inaugural integrity commissioner says the territory's anti-corruption model is the most carefully crafted in the country, giving the territory every chance of eliminating corruption.
Former Federal Court judge Dennis Cowdroy confirmed he had never been a member of a political party and said he didn't think those with past political affiliations should be appointed commissioner.
The previous pick for the job, Terence Higgins, had been cast aside because of objections from the Liberals about his previous links to the Labor Party.
The ACT became the final state or territory to create an anti-corruption commission when the Legislative Assembly passed the integrity commission bill in 2018.
Speaking after appearing at an Australian Lawyers Alliance conference on Friday, Mr Cowdroy told The Canberra Times the legislation was the most carefully drafted he had seen.
"I think it embodies every facet of the operations for a new commission to eliminate corruption. The ACT has [played] a first-class role in devising this legislation," Mr Cowdroy said.
He said he had never been a member of a political party. "The act requires that the person should not have any political affiliation, ever," he said.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Cowdroy said he had chosen "let right be done" as the motto of the integrity commission.
He said this came from English law, where it was open to petition the British sovereign under a procedure known as Petitions of Right.
The words used in such a petitions were: "let right be done". "Those simple words convey the true purpose of the new commission," Mr Cowdroy said.
He said the ACT's model for an integrity commission was strong and learnt from shortcomings of other jurisdictions' commissions.
The commission is on track to start taking referrals by December 1, with job advertisements recently posted for a CEO of the commission.
"At the moment it has a staff of one ... but things are developing," Mr Cowdroy said.
"It's a daunting task. You have to get an ABN number, you have to get a bank account, you have to look for premises, you have to get a website, you have to get stationery, you have to get a PO box number, you have to get furniture, electronics. All this is in progress."
He said a key difference between the ACT's commission and those of other jurisdictions was the power to include the private sector, when there was a relationship between it and the public sector.
Mr Cowdroy noted public hearings would only be held when the rights of a private person were not unnecessarily adversely affected.
The legislation is retrospective, meaning past corrupt conduct since self government may be investigated.
"In all it is a very comprehensive act," he said.
"In my mind the legislature deserves great credit for crafting an act, which I believe will best service the needs of the residents of the ACT."
The commission is set to investigate allegations of corruption involving public servants, politicians and government contractors, with a focus on serious and systemic cases, and the most serious cases of misconduct.
Corruption within ACT Policing cannot be investigated by the commission, as it is part of the Australian Federal Police and would require the Federal Parliament to change the ACT's self-government act.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected calls from ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr to do this.
The commissioner must have been a Supreme or Federal Court judge, a justice of the High Court, or a lawyer for at least 10 years, and must not have been a politician or a public servant in the past five years.
Mr Cowdroy was a justice of the Federal Court of Australia from 2006 to 2014 and also served as an additional judge of the ACT's Supreme Court.
He was a Land and Environment Court judge, held commissions as Judge-Advocate of the Australian Defence Force and as a presidential member of the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and is a chair of the Australian Electoral Commission.
He also served in the Navy reserve as a captain, as well as on the Defence Force discipline appeal tribunal, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to the Returned and Services League of Australia, as well as the legal community.