If there was any doubt about the seriousness of the task ahead for the ACT's new corruption watchdog then the high level of security at its new Kingston offices makes it very plain.
Thick ballistics glass, a heavy steel framed security door and a metal detector for all visitors stands at the entrance to the new purpose-designed ACT Integrity Commission offices.
The commission has been operational since December last year but has finally has opened dedicated premises where it can now conduct investigations, interviews, official hearings, and protect vital evidence and exhibits.
The significance of the opening wheeled out a "who's who" of the ACT public service, legal services, politics and policing, including the Speaker of the ACT Assembly, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Solicitor General, the ACT Head of Service, the Chief Magistrate, the Chief Police Officer and the Human Rights Commissioner.
The ACT's first Integrity Commissioner, former Federal Court judge Dennis Cowdroy, was appointed back in May last year after the early pick for the job, former ACT Chief Justice Terry Higgins, was set aside because of purported allegations of political leanings toward the Labor party.
The ACT is the final jurisdiction in the country to establish an integrity commission even though the need for one was flagged back in the first ACT Assembly after self-government.
Now the only tier of government without an independent, specialist anti-corruption agency is the Commonwealth. The federal government announced it would establish one in December 2018 and the 2019-20 federal budget committed $104.5 million over four years to fund it, but the draft legislation required to establish the agency is still unsighted.
For the ACT, the workload has arrived thick and fast with over 100 referrals under consideration.
Commissioner Cowdroy described corruption as "like an insidious plague" with a "wide range of corrosive effects on society" which allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to flourish.
He said the establishment of the commission was a "watershed moment in the growth of the ACT".
The motto chosen for the commission is an 18th Century English legal maxim: "Let right be done".
It's a phrase which achieved a degree of infamy from its use in the play The Winslow Boys, about a British legal challenge. The playwas later adapted for two critically-acclaimed films, the first produced in 1948 and a remake in 1999.
Chief Executive Officer John Hoitink said all allegations submitted to the new Commission will be subjected to a triage process in which an assessment team comprising himself, the Commissioner and three directors will make a decision on whether to proceed to a formal investigation.