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.
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
This article is one of an occasional series of opinions by our members. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) Saga. Will it end with the 2015 Budget? Author: Tim Smith (The Hon Tim Smith QC, former Supreme Court Judge and former Commissioner of the ALRC and VLRC. Tim Smith is the Chair of Accountability Round Table) Download PDF version here. Let me tell you about an ongoing saga that has been largely ignored. As you follow my account, please think of the current predicam