The Accountability Round Table

The Accountability Round Table is dedicated to improving standards of accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour and democratic practice in Commonwealth and State parliaments and governments across Australia. More here.

Current Projects

ART welcomes new Director – Peter Acton

ART welcomes new Director – Peter Acton

Peter Acton was Managing Partner of the Boston Consulting Group’s Melbourne office and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders. His book Poiesis: Manufacturing in Classical Athens was...

Open government clouded, Adjunct Professor Ken Coghill

Open government clouded, Adjunct Professor Ken Coghill

Australia risks accusations of rejecting a central feature of the liberal democratic ideals that Prime Minister Morrison eagerly embraced in June at the Perth USAsia Centre. Open government was the first of the themes he advocated, saying: Supporting open societies,...

The reforms we want from the Federal Government

An Integrity System for Australia

The reforms in brief:

A National Integrity System that is proactive, preventive, coordinated and cooperative  | A National Integrity Commission that is independent, has investigative powers, makes recommendations and findings of fact, can investigate the judiciary |  Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner 

see more here …

Political donations regime & election funding

The reforms in brief:

Caps of ~$1,000 on donations | Real time disclosure | Limits on election campaign expenditure incl. third party entities | Sanctions for electoral breaches | An independent body for public funding | Laws that require truth in political advertising

see more here …

Civil society engagement

The reforms in brief:

support civic participation in the OGP | value public participation in decisions and policy | recognise the benefits of public engagement, including that of women | make policy and decisions more transparent | allow NFPs freedom of expression, association and opinion | greater collaboration

see more here

Data in politics & government

The reforms in brief:

Ban covert digital techniques of influence | remove electoral & privacy act exemptions | supervise government data collection | recognise that personal data cannot be de-identified | control profiling for political use | control government buying-in data | cover social media in advertising rules  | ban government data on-selling | citizen opt-in rights 

see more here …

Policy on the big issues – global warming

The reforms in brief:

An evidence-based, whole of government approach to the environment | a transparent mechanism to drive down emissions | government role in decarbonizing solutions | cooling off period for public officers going into the private sector

see more here …


The reforms in brief:

In-house lobbyists incl. in Register | matters discussed disclosed | documents made public | funds, gifts & events declared | oversight of Code & Register by the National Integrity System | campaign donations & expenditure limits | more public engagement in decisions | Senate role in countering undue influence

see more here …

Integrity Lecture, Awards


National Integrity Commission, OAIC, OGP

The first task is to find the right answer…. Public service and the decline of capability

The Jim Carlton Annual Integrity Lecture was delivered by Glyn Davis AC, Distinguished Professor of Political Science on 7 May 2021 at the Melbourne Law School, Melbourne University - a collaboration between the Accountability Round Table (ART) and the Centre for...

ART Jim Carlton Integrity Lecture 7 May 6.30-8 pm – register now

"Taking minutes and wasting years: reviewing the Australian Public Service" Jim Carlton was closely involved in establishment of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, just one of his many contributions to high-level policy advice and skilled...

ART Integrity Awards for 45th Parliament

Accountability Round Table Integrity AwardsOn 15th October 2019, ART welcomed two outstanding recipients of its awards for conspicuous integrity in the 45th Parliament: – The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Smith MP, received the John Button Award –...

Citations for Speaker, Tony Smith MP & Cathy McGowan, former Member for Indi

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Smith MP, is the recipient of the John Button Award for his exemplary conduct in the vital role of Speaker. The role of the Speaker in maintaining the dignity of the House is often overlooked. In his four years...

Senate Select Committee on COVID-19. ART Submission

This submission to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 was made by Accountability Round table on 27 May 2020. It addresses the absence of independent scrutiny of government actions during the period of the Covid19 crisis. In particular, the exclusion of...

ART Submissions to Open Government Partnership – National Action Plan

The Open Government Partnership Australia has sought submissions on Australia's second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20. The next National Action Plan is is due by the end of August, 2018. Consultation with the public is being sought. There are five topics...

IBAC Submission by Accountability Round Table

Inquiry by the Independent Broad-based Anticorruption  Commission Committee of the Parliament of Victoria into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria. Submission by the Accountability Roundtable Received 14th September 2017...

Open Government Partnership – National Action Plan. ART Submission 4. Freedom of Information.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Open Government Australia in its Draft National Action Plan includes Commitment 3.1 – Information management and access laws for the 21st century. At present the draft commitment reads; "We will ensure our information access laws are modern and...

The defects in the Government’s integrity commission

See here for the podcast ART Director, Stephen Charles, did with Michelle Grattan for The Conversation on the shortcomings of the Government's proposed commission. Well worth a listen!

Why no national integrity commission?

Stephen Charles, Director of ART The Coalition has been promising Australia a federal Integrity Commission for nearly three years, and Christian Porter (when Attorney-General) produced an Exposure Draft for an Integrity Commission over 12 months ago. Why do we not now...

Data and privacy with Victorian Information Commissioner, Sven Bluemmel

ART's discussion series - data and privacy - July 2021 See here for the recording: Australian Governments are encouraging us to provide more and more personal data to be centrally stored and used by it to provide us with its services. The data we supply to government...

Why should we tolerate self-serving politicians?

Dr Colleen Lewis, ANU, writes in the Canberra Times this week: The time has come for hypocritical and self-serving political decision-making to cease. For too long our members of Parliament have either made themselves the exception to the rules they impose on others,...