REPORT: A NATIONAL INTEGRITY COMMISSION – OPTIONS FOR AUSTRALIA

20 August 2018

Attorney General Christian Porter said he’ll consider the options.

Detailed consultation was needed, he said, into the ‘variety of options for a new body, which can be the subject of public debate’ he told Guardian Australia in March.

Transparency International Australia and Griffith University are now proud to release three detailed analyses into three different options Australia could embrace to strengthen the integrity of our system of governance. These options range from smaller tweaks with limited impact, to a bigger overhaul with a high impact on tackling corruption, including the establishment of a strong and independent anti-corruption watchdog.

Option 1 

An Integrity and Anti-Corruption Coordination Council, will not deliver the serious reform that is needed. Minor tweaking and tinkering will not address the identified weaknesses. 

Option 2

An Independent Commission against Corruption, based on State experience is a better reform, and one that TI Australia would support, assuming it is independent, its jurisdiction is broad based, has adequate resources, the necessary investigative powers, and scope for public hearings.

Option 3

A custom-built Commonwealth Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission best meets the Transparency International cohesive and coordinated National Integrity framework approach. It would provide the most comprehensive package of reforms we need, including coordinated oversight of high-risk misconduct and a coherent corruption prevention framework.

Forming part of a major, three-year collaboration involving Griffith University, Flinders University, the University of the Sunshine Coast, Transparency International Australia, the New South Wales Ombudsman, the Queensland Integrity Commissioner, the Queensland Crime & Corruption Commission, and the Tasmanian Integrity Commission, Strengthening Australia’s National Integrity System: Priorities for Reform is a major body of work focused on strengthening our democracy.

This Options Paper builds on the lessons from national integrity system assessments conducted by Transparency International worldwide. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Australia’s integrity institutions and accountability systems and provides a fresh blueprint for best practice in our accountability institutions.  As recommended by the Senate Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission, it will be an important part of finding the right solutions to improving our national integrity system.