The Accountability Round Table is a non-partisan group of citizens with diverse backgrounds (academics, lawyers, politicians, journalists, authors) who are 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.
ONE STEP FORWARD….. At last we have a major win. Thanks to some tireless and extensive lobbying from ART and others concerned with transparency, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has been re-funded. Furthermore, some special attention has been paid to reinforcing funding for Freedom of Information by transferring it from the Attorney General’s department. However its not all good news. That the Government had decided not to proceed with its Bill to abolish the OA
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull, MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 06/04/2016 Dear Prime Minister I Chair the Accountability Round Table . I refer to our previous correspondence of 10 October 2015 concerning the Open Government Partnership. May we thank you and your government for confirming on 17 November 2015 Australia’s commitment to the OGP, and for starting the process to establish Australia’s National Action plan in partnership with the people of Australia. In the l
The Open Government Partnership, an international effort to secure commitments from governments worldwide ” to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance” was signed up to by the Turnbull Government in November of last year. The question is, given its potential to clean up governments and to promote greater trust in the political process, why is it so little known or promoted? Tim Smith, David Harper and Stephen Char
Neil Tiffen argues in “The Age” that corruption “is not just an issue for government – it applies to businesses, political parties, sports associations, charitable organisations and unions. It affects us all.” What we need is a “Federal ICAC”, an anti-corruption commission operating at the federal level. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/australia-slides-down-world-anticorruption-rankings-20160404-gnxjjq.html Dodgy unions are not our worst corruption pro
Colleen Lewis makes a new contribution to the debate on the conflict of interest inherent in political donations, especially when those donations are made by big corporations and effectively hidden from scrutiny. “Political funding is a fundamental public interest matter.” https://theconversation.com/reforming-political-donations-is-essential-if-we-are-to-trust-our-politicians-57031 Reforming political donations is essential if we are to trust our politicians March 31, 2016 1.36pm AE
Accountability Round Table has critiqued the amendments to the IBAC legislation proposed for May 2016. “Before the 2014 election, the then Labor opposition indicated that, if elected, it would amend the IBAC Act by the inclusion of the offence of misconduct in public office in the definition of “corrupt conduct” and that it would reduce the thresholds in the legislation that prevented IBAC from commencing investigations. The changes mentioned above in the amending Bill achieve these resul