INTEGRITY NOW! THE RULE OF LAW, ACCOUNTABILITY AND PUBLIC TRUST
This Policy Paper is a dynamic document that aims to develop and enhance our understanding and practice of:
- The Rule of Law,
- Accountability and
- The Public Trust
It will link these concepts to each other and to an understanding of Integrity and its opposite Corruption. All these centre on the need for elected and appointed officials to exercise the powers that are entrusted to them by the people for those people and not for themselves or their parties.
This paper sets out 21 recommendations for reform. Each with the problem to be addressed and the means of addressing them. [link to index for the main document]
These include a strong and independent Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC). However a CIC must be accompanied by other well-funded independent integrity agencies and anti-corruption measures that create an ‘integrity system’.
Seven of these involve reforms (1-7) make government more accountable to parliament which must be at the heart of the integrity system. These include oversight of: delegated legislation, treaties, spending, going to war and Improving question time, committee resources and accountability of ministerial staff
Another 8 reforms (8-15) help parliament make govt accountable: the CIC, non-partisan appointments, assessment of integrity risks, restoring judicial review, right to know, judicial commission, guaranteed funding
Five reforms increase the accountability of politicians (16-20)
Enforcing ministerial code; addressing truth in politics, money in politics, media reform, and preventing government’s abuse of its power to get re-elected (pork, voter suppression, election timing)
The remainder of the paper sets out the mechanisms for securing these reforms, highlighting the 21st recommendation – a Governance reform commission – the “lesson not learned” from the Fitzgerald reforms.
USING THIS TEXT
We invite comments and contributions from ART members and others who share our objective:
“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.”
The text of the document is intended to be “dynamic” because it will be revised and updated from time to time as members of ART and others contribute to its development.
Please send comments and reflections expanding on the themes in this document and any logical additions to Charles Sampford (c.sampford (at) griffith.edu.au) – click here to email him.