Integrity Awards

THE  ACCOUNTABILITY ROUND TABLE ‘BUTTON / MISSEN’ PARLIAMENTARY INTEGRITY AWARDS

img_integrityawardsThe ART has created two Parliamentary Integrity Awards for federal parliamentarians. They honour two former members of the federal Parliament, John Button and Alan Missen, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the values, purposes and duties for which power was entrusted to them as members of the Australian Parliament.

They were first awarded in 2010, to Senator John Faulkner and backbencher Petro Georgiou. The 2013 recipients were Mark Dreyfus (the Button award) and Melissa Parke and Judi Moylan, who shared the Missen award. In 2017 the Alan Missen Award was made to Rachel Siewart, Kelvin Thomson and Andrew Wilkie.

To quote former Chief Justice Sir Anthony Mason, when presenting the inaugural awards in 2010, “The object of the awards is to offer public recognition and support to those members of parliament whose service to the public bears the hallmark of integrity. It is hoped the awards will focus attention on the vital importance of integrity and accountability in public life, encourage public understanding and discussion of government accountability issues, and in this way counter the growing cynicism about our parliamentary democracy.”

The community is presented with an incomplete picture of our politicians and our parliamentary systems, in particular, the picture rarely includes those politicians who conduct themselves with integrity, respecting the need for honest, open and accountable government.  In addition, there is  no public recognition of their integrity and no system to reward or encourage such integrity. The “Parliamentary Integrity Awards” are intended to fill that gap.

In this context, integrity is assessed
“… by reference to the values, purposes and duties for which … power is entrusted to, or held by, the institutions and individual officeholders concerned. When individuals and institutions act in a manner that is true to these values, purposes and duties, we say they have integrity. Truth and honesty are not synonyms for integrity, but provide fundamental elements… “ .(National Integrity Systems Assessment Report, 2005 (p.9)

CRITERIA FOR THE MISSEN AWARDS AND NOMINATION INFORMATION HERE

CRITERIA FOR THE BUTTON AWARDS AND NOMINATION INFORMATION HERE


The Parliamentary Integrity Awards for the 44th Parliament: 13 SEPTEMBER 2017

INTRODUCTORY SPEECH AND COMMENDATIONSThe Hon Murray Gleeson AC

CITATIONS

The Alan Missen Award – SENATOR  RACHEL SIEWERT 2017

Senator Rachel Siewert has been a Greens Senator for Western Australia since July 2005.  She was a committed, hardworking member of the 44th Commonwealth Parliament and, in particular, was a significant voice in the Parliament for vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians. She was the Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services, Ageing and Disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Agriculture and Marine Issues.

Supporting the principles and practice of transparent and accountable government

She strongly supported an open Parliament, accessible to all Australians and sees her role as a parliamentarian to enable people from the community and not-for-profit organisations to be able to access Parliament House and meet politicians to discuss important issues. She raised transparent and accountable government issues in debates in the Senate, notably in her strong support for a National Integrity Commission.  During the debate on the Green’s Bill she said:

“We (the Greens) believe that integrity, accountability and openness in politics are vital and critical to a healthy democracy”.

She also pursued openness in government bodies – for example advocating for greater transparency and accountability of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Contributing effectively and constructively to parliamentary debate, committee deliberations and policy development in a way that promotes and supports good parliamentary practice and the institution of  parliament

In the 44th Parliament, she was a very active member on several Committees including – Senate Standing: Selection of Bills; Procedure; Scrutiny of Bills: Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Community Affairs; Legislation (Deputy Chair); References (Chair); and Joint Standing: National Disability Insurance Scheme; Joint Select Committees: Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and Northern Australia.

In the previous Parliament, her private member’s bill, the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012, was passed, one of the few private Senators’ Bills to do so. During the 44th Parliament, it was used by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs to make the sale of regular unleaded petrol illegal on Palm Island and to ban the sale of regular unleaded fuel in communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia struggling with petrol sniffing.

Pursuing a change in government policy or practice whether generally or in response to a constituency issue or injustice

During the 44th Parliament, she initiated and Chaired Senate inquiries into out-of- home care, the extent of income inequality in Australia, violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings and the Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy tendering processes. The inquiries provided a platform for people to share their experiences, and for the Parliament to be better able to respond to such issues.

Protecting people’s political and civil rights

Senator Siewert was particularly concerned about the political and civil rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and spoke out on issues that affect them. She raised in the Parliament, and the media, the Cashless Welfare Card, which disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She led the Greens’ support for Australia’s first peoples to be at the centre of the conversation on constitutional recognition, and sovereignty and treaties. She also opposed proposals to include investor-State dispute settlement provisions in Free Trade Agreements.

Senator Siewert demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the public interest in the performance of her role with honesty, civility, independence and political courage.

RACHEL SIEWERT’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH IS HERE

The Alan Missen Award – THE HON KELVIN THOMSON 2017

The Hon. Kelvin Thomson entered Federal Parliament as the Member for Wills in 1996.  He was re-elected six times, retiring at the 2016 election.  He had earlier served in the Victorian Parliament for nearly eight years.

He worked to improve political standards of conduct throughout his long Parliamentary career and won the trust and respect of his constituents and colleagues across the political spectrum.

Supporting the principles and practice of transparent and accountable government

In the 44th Parliament he supported calls for a national Independent Commission Against Corruption, and for significant reform for campaign donations including a disclosure threshold of $1000, no indexation of the threshold, prohibition of foreign and anonymous donations, addressing donation splitting and faster and more regular disclosure of donations. He was a strong supporter of whistleblower protection, importantly co-signing a letter to the relevant minister and caucus to ensure that protection legislation proceeded near the end of the 43 Parliament.

Contributing effectively and constructively to parliamentary debate, committee deliberations and/or policy development in a way that promotes and/or supports good parliamentary practice and the institution of parliament

He was an effective and constructive contributor to parliamentary debate, committee deliberations and policy development supporting good parliamentary practice and the institution of Parliament.

He continued his commitment to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, of which he had been the longest-serving chairman, seeking change in the treaty-making process which would enable Parliamentarians to see more of treaties during the negotiation process, rather than being presented with a fait accompli at the end of it.  This included working to build cross-party agreement on difficult issues like uranium sales to Russia and extradition and prisoner exchange treaties.

Pursuing a change in government policy or practice whether generally or in response to a constituency issue or injustice

He was also a strong advocate for a transition away from live animal exports, stronger environment protection, action on climate change including an increase in the renewable energy target, a national debate about Australia’s migration program, and action on multi-national tax evasion, and tax havens.

Protecting peoples’ political and civil rights

He was a strong supporter of individual citizens’ rights to have a say in their own destiny, campaigning against the inclusion of Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses in free trade agreements which he believed were fundamentally undemocratic.  This led him to oppose both the China and Korea Free Trade Agreements which contained such clauses, a position which was not a policy position of the Parliamentary Labor Party.

Throughout, he demonstrated a high commitment to the public interest in the performance of his role and with honesty, civility, independence and political courage.

KELVIN THOMSON’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH IS HERE

The Alan Missen Award – ANDREW WILKIE MP 2017

Andrew Wilkie, who entered Federal Parliament in 2010, it been a strong, articulate and fearless advocate for issues of transparency and good governance.

Supporting the principles and practice of transparent and accountable government

In the 43rd Parliament he played a major role in securing whistle-blower protection for people in the public service and government agencies.

In the 44th Parliament he questioned the Government on the increasing secrecy of security activity flowing from the grant of unreviewable powers of the executive, inadequate safeguards for, and limits on, people’s rights, and the protection of sources of Members of Parliament and the media.

He sought the reform of war powers, challenged the sending of troops to Iraq in June 2014 and sought a debate on the issue and later an inquiry into the Iraq war.

Contributing effectively and constructively to parliamentary debate, committee deliberations and/or policy development in a way that promotes and/or support good parliamentary practice and the institutions of Parliament

He engaged in questions, parliamentary debate and speeches including challenging specific appropriations that made things worse for the poorest and most disadvantaged, calling on the ALP, Greens and Independents to join him.  He also introduced six private members’ bills on topics ranging from the treatment of asylum seekers to problem gambling and migration, and with six others co-sponsored the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill of 2015, promoting marriage equality.    He served on the Australia Fund Establishment Committee.

Pursuing a change in government policy or practice whether generally or in response to a constituency issue or injustice.

Areas he addressed included climate change, an end to the export of live animals, Defence Force retirement benefits (but not for serving Parliamentarians to avoid a conflict of interest); mental health; education and the impact of certain decisions on his home state, Tasmania.  Other issues he raised were funding to assist the transportation of people and goods across Bass Strait; forestry research; proposed funding cuts in health and education and family support programs for the disadvantaged, funding of CSIRO, the University of Tasmania and the Arts; and the possible sell-off of the Hearing Services Programme.  In gambling, he opposed government proposals that weakened previously set limits on poker machine use and gave support for addressing problem gambling.

Protecting peoples’ political and civil rights

Andrew Wilkie opposed proposals denying people’s rights of access to the legal system for environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.  He also attempted to stop changes being made that would take away the rights of people seeking asylum to have access, if refused by government, to an independent review. Subsequently he introduced a Bill that would make major changes to the system, address Australia’s breaches of the refugee conventions, and restore the right of access to the AAT for asylum seekers with adverse security assessments.

Throughout, he demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the public interest in the performance of his role and with honesty, civility, independence and political courage.


The Parliamentary Integrity Awards for the 43rd Parliament: December 2013

The Parliamentary Integrity Awards for the 43rd Parliament were awarded in Parliament House, Canberra on 11th of December 2013.

Selection Committee

The ART Selection Committee for Integrity Awards for the 43rd Parliament was comprised of;

Lyn Allison – former leader of the Democrats
The Hon. Jim Carlton – former federal Liberal Party Minister,
The Hon Dr. Ken Coghill – former ALP member  of and Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Associate Professor, Business and Economics, Monash University,
Harry Evans – Former Clerk of the Senate,
Professor Charles Sampford – Director, The Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law
Dr David Solomon – Queensland Integrity Commissioner.

Chaired by the Chair of the ART, Hon Tim Smith QC – retired Victorian Supreme Court judge and Adjunct Professor, Business and Economics Monash University.

Recipients

The Button Award was received by The Hon, Mark Dreyfus, QC, MP. Shadow Attorney-General, Shadow Minister for the Arts.

The Missen Award was received by The Hon, Judi Moylan, MP,  and The Hon, Melissa Parke, MP.

The Award Citations list their attributes and actions that demonstrated their fulfillment of the Award criteria.

The Hon, Sir Gerard Brennan, AC, KBE, GBS presented the awards to the recipients.  Sir Gerard’s Award Presentation Speech covered matters of the separation of powers, the administration of the public interest and the fiduciary duty owed the public by its representatives in parliament.

Mark Dreyfus’s acceptance speech

Judi Moylan’s acceptance speech

Melissa Parke’s acceptance speech

 

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The Parliamentary Integrity Awards for the 42rd Parliament: June 2010

The Inaugural Awards

The Parliamentary Integrity Awards for the 42rd Parliament were awarded in Parliament House, Canberra on 15th of June 2010

Selection Committee

The ART Selection Committee for Integrity Awards for the 42rd Parliament was comprised of;

Lyn Allison – former leader of the Democrats
The Hon. Jim Carlton – former federal Liberal Party Minister,
The Hon Dr. Ken Coghill – former ALP member  of and Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Associate Professor, Business and Economics, Monash University,
Harry Evans – Former Clerk of the Senate,
Prof Emeritus David Yencken AO
Professor Charles Sampford – Director, The Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law
Dr David Solomon – Queensland Integrity Commissioner.

Chaired by the Chair of the ART, Hon Tim Smith QC – retired Victorian Supreme Court judge and Adjunct Professor, Business and Economics Monash University.

Recipients

The Button Award was received by John Faulkner

The Missen Award was received by Petro Georgiou

The Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE presented the awards to the recipients. Sir Anthony Mason’s Award Presentation Speech covered the increasing disconnection between people and politics, and a view of politicians as “immured in their own world” a view enhanced by the perspective of the media on politicians and their behaviour. Political donations and political lobbying help to entrench political access for privileged elites. Methods of funding and lobbying politicians and the various controversial measures they implement ought to be open to public scrutiny. Ministerial responsibility for mistakes and oversights is on the decline as is the role of parliament as a watchdog.  Moreover the complexity of executive government has grown to the point where it is only possible for selective oversight to take place. “The popular image of the political process would be enhanced if the ideals of openness and accountability were pursued,  if relevant information was made available in timely fashion to the public and if our representatives gave us the bad news as well as the good news.”

John Faulkner’s acceptance speech

Petro Georgiou’s acceptance speech

Related Articles

Integrity Awards Speech – The Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE

Integrity Awards Speech – John Faulkner’s acceptance speech – John Button Award

Integrity Awards Speech – Petro Georgiou’s acceptance speech – Alan Missen Award

Media

Two MPs receive awards for integrity

Sydney Morning Herald June 15, 2010 – 9:14PM
The Age June 15, 2010
Bigpond News Wednesday, June 16, 2010 » 06:52am
Business Spectator 9:28 PM, 15 Jun 2010
Herald Sun June 16, 2010 4:10AM
Daily Telegraph June 16, 2010 4:10AM

Faulkner, Georgiou honoured for integrity

ABC News Online Posted Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:35am AEST

Integrity Awards Report – ABC Radio National “National Interest” 18 June 2010

Sorry Senator Carr, no award for you

No favourites in the pollie Oscars


The Launch of the Accountability Round Table ‘Button – Missen’ Parliamentary Integrity Awards by Tony Fitzgerald – 11th March 2010

The Accountability Round Table launched its ‘Button – Missen’ Parliamentary Integrity Awards on the 11th March 2010, at the Monash University Law Chambers.

The Launch Speech was made by Tony Fitzgerald, QC, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry into Official Corruption in Queensland and judge in the Supreme Courts of Queensland and New South Wales.

The speech covered matters of increased domination by sectional interests of  Australia’s public life and parliaments, and the public inertia about its effects on official misconduct and the pursuit of populism by governments.  Tony Fitzgerald argued that legal and ethical constraints are necessary to prevent manipulation to advance personal and group interests which risk future dissipation of the social cohesion necessary for society to successfully function.

Button Missen Parliamentary Integrity Awards Launch Speech – Tony Fitzgerald QC

Related Articles

Media release from Senator Joe Ludwig, Cabinet Secretary, Special Minister of State, Senator for Queensland

Call for nominations for the Button and Missen integrity awards

Media

ABC PM – Fitzgerald swan song: Australian democracy is bent

Stateline Friday, March 12, Accountability Awards, Tony Fitzgerald & Justin Madden