September 2019 (#248)

Another month another corruption scandal.A New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry has heard claims that $100,000 in cash was delivered to the NSW Labor Party by a prohibited donor. This has prompted the State’s Premier to call for a ban on cash donations above $100.

We think this is a good move – as Premier Gladys Berejiklian said herself ‘…anonymous cash has the potential to mar our political system.’

It’s time for the Federal Parliament to toughen its rules on political donations too.

As we said this month in our submission to Parliament on the Ministerial Standards: political donations should be disclosed in real time, political parties should aggregate multiple donations from the same donor, and the donations disclosure threshold should be lowered to $5,000.

Australians deserve transparency over who is giving how much to influence public policy.

Serena Lillywhite

Global Climate Strike

Transparency International Australia is proud to support our staff to attend the Global Climate Strike on Friday.

We are working so hard to address corruption because we firmly believe that a healthier democracy provides better outcomes for people and the environment.

With transparency and accountability – the tools people require to participate in a truly inclusive and participatory democracy, we will achieve this vision of a better world

TIA’s Whistleblowing Event

21st October, NAB Office-Docklands, 5.30-7.30pm

With new legislation coming into force, now’s the time to learn more about the new protections for private sector whistleblowers.

At this event you will hear firsthand insights from Professor A J Brown, Australia’s leading whistleblower expert, on the recently amended whistleblower provisions of the Corporation Act. NAB Chief Financial Crime Risk Officer and Head of NAB Group’s Whistleblower Program will provide insights on implementation, and TIA CEO Serena Lillywhite will give an update on our anti-bribery and corruption work.

Our members will be eligible for a free ticket to the event, worth $50.00. General admission tickets are also be available.

Click here to purchase a ticket

Read more here on becoming a TIA member

Ministerial Standards Inquiry

Our CEO Serena Lillywhite represented TIA at the public hearing for the Senate Inquiry into Ministerial Standards, and in particular, whether Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop have breached the Ministerial Code of Conduct with appointments in the private sector since leaving politics.

“Increasingly in Australia,” TIA CEO Serena Lillywhite told the Senate Inquiry into Ministerial Standards, “access and influence is heavily skewed towards the interests of businesses, special interest groups, and powerful individuals that have the most to gain, and loose, from public policy decisions.”
“It’s not surprising that the public thinks this stinks.”

Click here to read our submission

Inquiry Into Press Freedom

We want our law to support journalists and press freedom. Our democracy depends on a free press. However, instead of celebrating whistleblowers and investigative journalists who expose dirty political secrets and wrongdoing, they have been treated as criminals, charged, and can face lengthy jail terms. The criminalisation of journalism and whistleblowing is a worrying trend in Australia.

This month, TIA made a submission to the Environment and Communications Reference Committee’s Inquiry into Press Freedom. The submission addressed the issues of disclosure and public reporting of sensitive and classified information, the adequacy of existing legislation and the whistleblower protection regime and protections for public sector employees.

Click Here to read the Submission

Operation Eclipse  

The New South Wales ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) is conducting an investigation into the regulation of lobbying, access and influence in NSW. The investigation named ‘Operation Eclipse’ is examining whether the Lobbying of Government Officials Act 2011 needs to be strengthened, as well as the broader approach to addressing risks associated with lobbying and influencing practices.

Like the Commission’s previous examination of lobbying practices in 2010 (Operation Halifax), this investigation is not concerned with examining whether any particular individual may have engaged in corrupt conduct, but rather seeks to examine particular aspects of lobbying activities and the corruption risks involved in the lobbying of public authorities and officials. A public inquiry has been held as part of the investigation, with another due to be held next month.

Click here to learn more

Consultations On Third Open Government National Action Plan- Opening Soon

Public consultations on the development of Australia’s third Open Government National Action Plan (2020-22) are due to begin shortly. If you wish to help shape Australia’s Open Government priorities over the next few years, we encourage you to get involved and share your ideas on how Australia can become more transparent, accountable and publicly engaged.

Sign up at the OGPAU mailing list and be the first to receive information on key dates and locations for consultations.

Read more about previous Open Government National Action Plans here