Wheels are in motion for a federal anti-corruption watchdog

22 November 2018

Transparency International Australia welcomes Cathy McGowan MP’s framework for a new federal anti-corruption agency, announced today.


‘We have been honoured to work closely with Cathy McGowan, Rebekha Sharkie, Andrew Wilkie and other cross-benchers on the thinking and drafting of the new anti-corruption and integrity framework,’ said Transparency International Australia CEO, Serena Lillywhite


‘Transparency International Australia has campaigned for a federal anti-corruption agency since 2005.


‘Our research has found falling public trust and confidence in all levels of government. More than two-thirds of Australians support the creation of an anti-corruption watchdog.


‘We have been speaking with all sides of the political spectrum to push for a solution which brings greater transparency, accountability and integrity across our government, including strong investigations, strong prevention, strong parliamentary standards, and strong whistle-blower protection.


Our National Integrity System Assessment Options Paper, authored by board member Professor AJ Brown, presented three options for building a national integrity commission.


‘We strongly advised option 3 – a comprehensive and independent agency, with prevention and enforcement functions and strong powers to report publicly, as well as the creation of a long overdue whistle-blower protection authority, parliamentary codes of conduct and a parliamentary standards commissioner.


‘We are pleased to see Cathy McGowan has agreed with our analysis in the simple but comprehensive plan she is now proposing.


‘While there is more work to do to address lobbying and political donations, Cathy McGowan’s proposal sets up the machinery to combat bribery and corruption and build a culture of integrity among parliamentarians, their staff and public servants.


‘We call on all parties to progress these Bills next week and bring a strong anti-corruption and integrity framework to fruition before the next election.


‘Our elected representatives must stand united against corruption.’