June 2018 (#235)

 

 

June edition of TIA E-News features two big media stories: Adani’s deal with the regional Council in Queensland and CBA’s historic $700 million fine for breaching anti-money laundering legislation.

Adani to Pay Council Employees Overseeing Carmichael Mine

 

Read more about the deal Adani struck with the Isaac Regional Council on ABC News or listen the radio broadcast PM with Linda Mottram. (Photo: Emilia Terzon / ABC News)

Late in May we learned that Adani is paying up to $1.15 million in wages, housing and vehicle costs for four Isaac Regional Council employees tasked with oversight over Adani’s infrastructure work related to the Carmichael coal project. Interviewed by ABC News QLD on 28 May, TIA CEO Serena Lillywhite stated that the unprecedented arrangement raises “real questions around the perception or the potential for a conflict of interest, and for undue industry influence, and certainly questions around the independence of decisions being made by the council”.

Following up on the ABC’s News and Radio coverage, the Australian reported on 29 May that the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urges the Regional Council to seek advice from the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission on potential conflict of interest in the arrangement.

Australian Mining Project

 

The previous story highlights the timeliness of TIA’s anti-corruption work in the mining sector. Hannah Clua-Saunders recently joined TIA to lead the Australian component in the global Mining for Sustainable Development Programme. The second phase of the Australian Mining Project will focus on advocating for meaningful improvements in the mining approval processes in Queensland and Western Australia, as identified in our report Corruption Risks: Mining Approvals in Australia last year. Stay tuned to receive updates of Hannah’s work in the coming months.

CBA Fined $700M over Money Laundering

 

Photo: Bidgee / Wikimedia Commons

Commonwealth Bank received the biggest fine in the Australian corporate history over breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

The immense scale of the CBA case and its impact on public trust in the financial sector highlights an omission in the scope of the Banking Royal Commission –  it does not currently cover money laundering. Transparency International Australia recommends extending the scope of the Commission to cover this critical aspect of Australia’s financial integrity system.

Visit TIA website to see and hear the TIA interviews on ABC News and Radio.



Don’t miss out on our National Symposium, Australia’s Public Integrity Institutions: Strengths, Weaknesses, Optionsin Canberra on 21 August.

This is a free event, but registration is required. Please join us to identify best practice in the design and working of our public integrity institutions, including our call for a national anti-corruption agency.

Register Here

Australia’s OGP Action Plan 2018-20

TIA has been actively participating in the drafting of Australia’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2018-20 (you can find our submission from May here).

Now it’s time for you to have say on draft commitments to make government more transparent, accountable, and publicly-engaged:

To participate online at the OGP Australia website, you’ll first have to register for an account. Once the draft Plan is released on the website on 25 June, you’ll then be able to have your say by leaving a comment, responding to comments of other participants, or voting on comments on each of the proposed commitments until 8 July.

You can also attend a face-to-face consultation:

Registrations for both events will close 25 June 2018.

Following consultations, Australia’s Open Government Forum will meet again in July to consider all feedback received and make a final recommendation to Government on the content of Australia’s second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20.

Improving AusNCP Specific Instance Procedures

The Australian National Contact Point (AusNCP) is responsible for promoting the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and for ensuring access to a redress mechanism in Australia through the Specific Instance Process when the Guidelines are breached.

TIA provided feedback on the plans to address the AusNCP’s shortcomings related to these processes.

Updated Contact Details

We have recently updated our contact details:

Phone: +61 421 498 644
Emailinfo@transparency.org.au
Mail: Level 2, 696 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000