Submission on the Legislative Reform Discussion Paper regarding the Integrity Commission Act 2009
Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on the Legislative Reform Discussion Paper regarding the Integrity Commission Act 2009.
I speak for a great many constituents when I observe that the Tasmanian Integrity Commission is woefully inadequate and no amount of tinkering around the edges will fix it. Instead a new agency is urgently needed, one with the following features as a minimum:
- Be independent of government.
- Have a strong legislative basis and be well-resourced.
- Rely on a broad definition of corruption and address conduct which, while not necessarily illegal, is obviously improper.
- Be able to take referrals from anyone.
- Be able to conduct public hearings in some circumstances.
- Be empowered to investigate any allegation against politicians and their staff, employees of any government department or agency, and anyone dealing with these people including, but not limited to, contractors, consultants, lobbyists, developers and donors.
- Be backed up by effective protections for whistleblowers.
Moreover I would note that having an unsatisfactory integrity commission is worse than having no commission at all, as it either lacks public confidence, or gives people false confidence that all’s well with governance and public administration in the State.
Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Clark