‘Teal’ candidates Monique Ryan, Allegra Spender and Zoe Daniel have backed the model for a national integrity commission (NIC) that has been proposed by independent MP Helen Haines. They are of the view that any federal anti-corruption watchdog should have the power to investigate the misuse of taxpayers’ money.
Ryan says that amongst other things, a national integrity commission should also have the power to start its own investigations, conduct its hearings in public and investigate wrongdoings retrospectively.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out subjecting government spending to such scrutiny unless there is evidence of criminal conduct.
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From The AFR:
Dr Haines has based her bill on the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called a “kangaroo court”. The Coalition bill, which was never put to parliament despite an election pledge in 2019, has been derided as a “sham designed to protect politicians”…
[Spender] said any federal body should “consider any allegations of misuse of public money”.
“This includes spending programs, tendering of contracts, employment practices, and transparency around the process and outcomes of public spending”…
Dr Ryan, who is challenging Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, said in comments provided by a spokesperson that she defined corruption as “the misuse of public institutions [and public money] for political or private gain”.
Bring it on. Corruption is running rampant through the federal government, which is reflected in Australia plummeting down Transparency International’s (TI) corruption index, suffering a massive 12 point fall over the past decade:
The US-based anti-corruption alliance has also threatened to pull Australia’s membership following Australia’s failure to implement anti-corruption measures.
The only way to flush out the corruption is by implementing a robust NIC.
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