Canberrans can expect the highest levels of oversight and transparency of government decision making following the delivery of the Government’s Integrity package in the Legislative Assembly this week.
Following extensive consultation with the community, stakeholders and the members of the Legislative Assembly, the Government has delivered on an ACT Labor election commitment to pass legislation to form an ACT Integrity Commission. The Commission will be operational from 1 July 2019.
The Bill which passed the ACT Legislative Assembly today will result in the establishment of an Integrity Commission modelled on best practice from similar entities operating around Australia. The new Commission will have the ability to investigate matters that were subject to a previous inquiry, investigate matters related to judicial officers – while respecting the independence of the judiciary and the importance of separation of powers. The legislation also requires mandatory reporting by all senior public servants, members of the Legislative Assembly and chiefs of staff to ministers and the Leader of the Opposition.
Importantly, the ACT Integrity Commission model will be the first in Australia to introduce a criminal offence for a failure by mandatory reporters to notify the Commission of serious or systemic corrupt conduct. This sends a very clear message to ACT public sector leaders that the obligation rests on them to maintain the highest ethical standards for themselves and the people that report to them.
The Government has also introduced a ban on property developer donations to any party represented in
the Assembly. While ACT Labor and the ACT Greens do not accept donations from property developers, this measure will bring the Territory into line with other state and territory Governments.
The Electoral Reform Amendment Act introduced by Minister Ramsay will also close other loopholes potentially used to circumvent the spirit of election rules. The Government has also requested the Assembly Administration and Procedure Committee to report on the best way to expand the scope of the lobbyist register.
This package of measures fully delivers on ACT Labor’s comprehensive integrity platform. The establishment of an Integrity Commission for Canberra, and the ban on property developer donations, are items in the 2016 Parliamentary Agreement between ACT Labor and the ACT Greens.
- Statement ends -
Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases
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