SECTION 3. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
2. INTEGRITY SYSTEMS AND AN ENDURING GOVERNANCE REFORM COMMISSION
The problems outlined above cannot be solved by the input of a single discipline, nor can they be solved within a single institution. A strong integrity commission (see above) based on the Hong Kong, NSW and Queensland models is needed. However, an integrity commission must be part of an integrity system in which other, complementary, institutions operate to suppress corruption and to enhance integrity. This combination of mechanisms and public institutions and agencies (including courts, parliament, police, prosecutors), watchdog agencies (ombudsman, auditor general), NGOs, laws, norms and incentive mechanisms is primarily directed at pursuing the positive goal of good governance rather than the negative goal of limiting corruption. As indicated above, this combination has been called an ‘ethics regime’, an ‘ethics infrastructure’, a ‘National Integrity System’ and an ‘Integrity and Accountability System’. The reforms suggested in this Policy Paper will go a long way to addressing the inadequacies in Australia’s national integrity system. As in Queensland’s Fitzgerald reforms, the first new institution should be a world-class integrity commission. The other reforms we have suggested could be implemented quickly.
3. GOVERNANCE REFORM COMMISSION
However, in the medium term, ART strongly recommends establishing an enduring national Governance Reform Commission following the model of Queensland’s ‘Electoral and Administrative Reform Commission.’ EARC was tasked with reviewing every aspect of governance in Queensland and making recommendations to Parliament (recommendations that were generally very hard to ignore) and to develop an expertise in such reforms and a strong understanding of the need for new and reformed institutions to understand the other’s roles and the ways in which they could be mutually supportive.
Governance Reform Commission: An enduring national Governance Reform Commission (following the model of the Queensland ‘Electoral and Administrative Reform Commission’) would review all aspects of governance and make recommendations to Parliament (which would be very hard to ignore) and develop an expertise in such reforms and a strong understanding of the need for new and reformed institutions to understand each other’s roles and the ways they could be mutually supportive.