Transparency International Australia has announced the release of draft recommendations from Australia’s second National Integrity System Assessment – sweeping research on how to strengthen the accountability and integrity of government. Governing for Integrity – a blueprint for reform presents draft recommendations based on wide-ranging consultations with experts, government agencies and everyday Australians.
‘This detailed research puts more meat on the bones of the promises made by all major political parties and Independents, as integrity reform becomes a key election issue’ said Serena Lillywhite, CEO of Transparency International Australia.
‘The question is no longer “will we have an anti-corruption watchdog”,it is “how can we have the best one for our democracy” and what else is needed beyond simply that one reform?’
‘In this draft report we present the architecture of a new system – one that goes beyond punishing corruption and fosters the highest level of integrity across our government and parliament.
‘These recommendations are the start of the deeper conversation Australians need to have about how we can bring out the best of our democracy.’
Professor A J Brown, TI Australia board member and Professor of Public Policy & Law at Griffith University, led the assessment and presented the draft recommendations to today’s Tackling Corruption Together conference in Melbourne.
‘Major recommendations focus on the national integrity commission – why it must have a broad, truly nationalfocus; why it must not be limited to just criminal corruption; why it needs strong and clearer public hearing powers; and why there must be a strong framework of mandatory real-time reporting of corruption issues. These features are missing from some proposals, especially the Commonwealth Government’s’ said Professor A J Brown.
‘We estimate that Australia needs to spend $100 million a year for a strong, effective and well-coordinated system that clamps down on corruption and promotes political integrity across all government functions.
‘While the Coalition Government has promised 30 per cent more resources to its proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission than the Australian Labor Party, neither party has committed adequate funds, and neither party has a monopoly on how to get this right.’
‘With public trust in politicians at an all-time low, and overwhelming frustration at the lack of political integrity and corruption, we call on all parties to respond to these proposals and show their commitment to a strong national framework for democratic reform.’