香港政府於1974年成立專責打擊貪污的獨立機構 — 廉政公署，為香港肅貪史奠下重要的里程碑。
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was set up in 1974 to tackle corruption, marking a milestone in Hong Kong’s anti-corruption history.
As early as 1898, bribery was made an offence with the enactment of the Misdemeanours Punishment Ordinance. Replaced by the Prevention of Corruption Ordinance in 1948, the legislation was enforced by the Anti-Corruption Office of the Police Force. In May 1971, the Ordinance was further strengthened with new offences, heavier penalties and stronger investigative powers to become the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance of today.
In June 1973, a police chief superintendent fled Hong Kong while under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Office. The then Governor, Lord Murray MacLehose, appointed a Commission of Inquiry to look into the circumstances of the case, advise on the effectiveness of the anti-corruption laws and suggest possible amendments. In response to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry and prevailing public opinion, the Governor set up an independent organisation to tackle corruption, heralding a new era in the fight against corruption.
The ICAC was established on February 15, 1974, with the enactment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance. The Commission is independent of the civil service and the Commissioner is answerable directly to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The ICAC is committed to fighting corruption through a three-pronged strategy of effective law enforcement, education and prevention to maintain Hong Kong as a fair and just society.
The ICAC comprises three functional departments: Operations, Corruption Prevention and Community Relations. As at the end of 2014, the Commission had an establishment of 1 446 posts.
The work of the ICAC is closely scrutinised by four independent committees comprising leading citizens as members and non-officials as chairmen. The Advisory Committee on Corruption advises on Commission-wide policies and issues. The Operations Review Committee examines and monitors all ICAC investigations. The Corruption Prevention Advisory Committee oversees the work in enhancing practices and procedures to minimise opportunities for corruption. The Citizens Advisory Committee on Community Relations advises on measures to foster public support in combating corruption and to educate the public against the evils of corruption.
An independent ICAC Complaints Committee examines complaints against the ICAC or its staff, monitors the handing of complaints and advises on follow-up actions.