The Accountability Round Table is a non-partisan group of citizens with diverse backgrounds (academics, lawyers, politicians, journalists, authors) who are gravely concerned with the current erosion of honesty and integrity in our democracy. The Accountability Round Table is dedicated to improving standards of accountability, probity, transparency and democratic practice in all governments and parliaments in Australia.
The Attorney-General’s letter to ART of 21 May 2015 and the evidence given at the recent Senate Estimates Committee Hearing, confirm that the OAIC remains in deep trouble. The letter produced below sets out what ART sees as fundamental concerns – including that if the OAIC is allowed to cease functioning, “Why does it also not follow that the Executive Branch of our Government is repudiating its obligations to respect, carry out and maintain the laws of the Parliament, the Constit
A letter from Senator George Brandis (Attorney General) concerning the present status and future of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was received by ART on the 27th of May responding to its letter to Sen. Brandis of 6th April 2015 . His letter confirms the Government’s continuing determination to abolish the OAIC and the continuation (for one year only) of significantly reduced funding which reflects the significant changes that have occurred to the OAIC statutory operation
This article was published in The Canberra Times. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/government-denies-starving-foi-watchdog-of-funds-even-though-he-works-from-home-20150528-ghbiju.html It has direct relevance to our concern about the recent government budgetary effect on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and refers to an article authored by three of our members. “Abbott government skirts Parliament and muzzles the FOI watchdog“ Government d
This article was published in The Canberra Times, 26 May 2015, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/abbott-government-skirts-parliament-and-muzzles-the-foi-watchdog-20150526-gh9ju2.html and also in The Age Online, 26 May 2015. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/abbott-government-skirts-parliament-and-muzzles-the-foi-watchdog-20150526-gh9ju2.html Tim Smith, David Harper and Stephen Charles are all former Victorian Supreme Court judges and are also members of ART Abbott government skirts Parli
This article was published in The Conversation https://theconversation.com/budgets-45m-slush-fund-for-mps-is-an-unethical-use-of-public-money-42116 Ken Coghill is Associate Professor at Monash University, and a member of ART Budget’s $45m slush fund for MPs is an unethical use of public money Ken Coghill 25 May 2015, 6.13am AEST The 2015-16 Commonwealth budget’s “Stronger Communities” slush fund for every lower house MP raises serious questions. The allocation of $150,000 a year to every MP’s e
Victoria needs better tools to fight corruption Date May 13, 2015 – 12:00 AM Stephen Charles (The Hon Stephen Charles QC, former Judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria, is a member of ART) The Education Department is just one target known to require IBAC attention. Victorians might not realise our state has the worst and least effective government integrity system in Australia. Until recently, it had no anti-corruption commission; a freedom of information system subverted