Latest corruption scandal demonstrates need for national anti-corruption watchdog

26 November 2018

‘Fairfax’s latest investigation demonstrates the Australian Government’s alarming lack of capacity to effectively combat corruption,’ said Transparency International Australia CEO, Serena Lillywhite.


‘The latest allegations that a corrupt Border Force official was helping criminal gangs traffic drugs – and that the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement (ACLEI) knew this but could not effectively prosecute him – is truly worrying.


‘The Fairfax investigation demonstrates the current anti-corruption regime is just not fit for purpose and is leaving all Australians at risk of serious security threats.


‘If the ACLEI is unable to effectively expose major corruption, then who can?


‘The ACLEI must have the budget, the staff and the full support of the Australian Federal Police and other agencies to carry out investigations and conduct public inquiries to make sure these cases are exposed and the necessary action taken.


‘There are currently too many gaps and a lack of coordination and resourcing across government agencies to tackle corruption effectively.


‘Federal crossbench parliamentarians will today introduce simple and comprehensive legislation to establish a federal level anti-corruption agency.


‘The new agency proposed by the Independents would help plug the gaps that are allowing crime to flourish and ensure better coordination across government agencies.


‘It’s time for all sides of politics to prioritise this, work together and agree to a broad-based and independent national anti-corruption watchdog that takes a strong, comprehensive and coordinated approach to preventing and combatting serious and systemic corruption.’