May 2006 (#73)

In this update:

  • Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Bill 2006
  • Senate Inquiry into the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Bill 2006
  • Oil-For-Food Scandal
  • OECD Convention-2nd Phase Report on Australia

Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Bill 2006

An important measure to create an integrity supervisor for federal agencies engaged in law enforcement – but restricted to the Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission – is presently before the Senate. Over a short period, submissions were sought and a hearing held in Sydney in April 2006. The report of the Senate Committee examining the bills was released on 11 May 2006. This report basically expresses support for the legislation, but sees force in the arguments put forward for enlarging the jurisdiction of the new integrity oversight body. It calls for a timetable from the government for enlarging the coverage by legislation. As it stands the law enforcement arms of the ATO, the Customs Service, Austrac and ASIC will not be covered by the new body.

Senate Inquiry into the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Bill 2006

An important measure to create an integrity supervisor for federal agencies engaged in law enforcement – but restricted to the Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission – is presently before the Senate. Over a short period, submissions were sought and a hearing held in Sydney in April 2006. The time for submissions has now closed, and the report of the Senate Committee is expected on 11 May 2006. TI Australia Chairman, Mr Frank Costigan, lodged a submission on behalf of TI Australia, which appears as Number 10 on the website of the Committee relating to the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Bill 2006.

Oil-For-Food Scandal

The public hearings of the Royal Commission which started in Sydney on January 16, 2006 have been closely followed and reported on in the media. A Background Brief, �Anti-Corruption Laws � Implications for Australian Business� has been prepared by TI Australia.

The daily transcript and other matters of interest, including the terms of its mandate and interim legal opinions, can be found on the website of the Commission.

OECD Convention-2nd Phase Report on Australia

An interesting analytical report of the Working Group on the state of implementation of the law to prohibit and penalise bribery of foreign public officials was released in January 2006. It comments adversely on the lack of any attempts by Canberra to prosecute for breach of the law and makes a number of interesting recommendations to strengthen the law.