A Federal ICAC
Edited by Marc Eastmure
Whilst coverage of Barnaby Joyce’s affair started out as largely personal, recent public and political attention has propelled the issue to the various potential misuses of his ministerial powers, including the decision to relocate the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to his electorate, and the damage it has done to public confidence in the government.
Australia’s place on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index has recently fallen from 7th place in 2012 to 13th in 2016, indicating a rise in the perception of corrupt behaviour. Similarly a recent survey of public servants found that 5 percent have witnessed corrupt behaviour, nearly double 2013-14 levels.
States have established their own Independent Commissions Against Corruption (otherwise known as ICACs) to counter public sector corruption. New South Wales’ ICAC was established in 1989 and despite low prosecution rates, has been hailed as highly successful, with its investigations leading to the resignations of former Premier Barry O’Farrell as well as former ministers Eddie Obeid, Ian Macdonald, and Mike Gallacher.
Recently, several former judges called for the establishment of a national anti-corruption watchdog.
Bill Shorten recently announced that, if elected, Labor would legislate for a ‘standing royal commission’ into corruption; not because of any known corruption, but to restore people’s faith in public institutions.
Is a federal ICAC necessary to combat corrupt behaviour in the public sector?
The Australian, Victoria’s Freedom of Information gaps exposed
The Sydney Morning Herald, Overwhelming majority of voters want a federal ICAC, poll reveals
The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia needs protecting from its Parliament
The Australian, ICAC case ignites UN human rights row
Institute of Public Affairs, Government Must Reject NSW ICAC-Style Kangaroo Court
Australian Financial Review, Bill Shorten's federal ICAC plan tests Constitution
The Canberra Times, The flimsy case for a federal anti-corruption watchdog
The Conversation, A national ICAC? We need better anti-corruption bodies, not more
The Canberra Times, The growing case for a federal anti-corruption agency