Thursday, 13 August 2009
National Anti-Corruption and Integrity Commission
I missed one of my notices of motion and I seek leave to now move motion No. 503.
That the Senate calls on the Rudd Government to consider the establishment of a National Anti-Corruption and Integrity Commission which has the powers of a standing Royal Commission and the purview to detect, investigate and prevent corruption across all Commonwealth departments and agencies, the activities of Federal Parliament, Federal parliamentarians and Federal law enforcement agencies.
It is worth noting that in 2006 the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, known as ACLEI, commenced operations with the consent of parliament. ACLEI is responsible for preventing, detecting and investigating serious and systematic corruption issues in the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Crime Commission and the former National Crime Authority. Other Commonwealth agencies with a law-enforcement function are able to be brought within ACLEI’s jurisdiction by regulation. I believe that it is probably best to look at Senator Brown’s motion in light of the role of ACLEI and maybe have that extended to cover some of the issues proposed by Senator Brown. I will be opposing this motion on that basis.
Senator Fielding may have missed my contribution to the Senate on this matter earlier in the week. We are very well aware of ACLEI because we were here for its establishment. However, ACLEI does not cover the bureaucracy at large. It does not cover the parliament and it does not cover the matters that the public would want to see it cover. Part of our proposal is a request to the government to expand the functions of that organisation so it does cover the areas that, for example, the crime and anticorruption commissions in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. This is a motion to have the government move to extend the purview of a crime and anticorruption and integrity commission to be somewhat equal to those of the states, which are working well. It is not logical to say we should have that just confined to the police and policing authorities but not to the rest of governance in the Commonwealth.
That the motion (Senator Bob Brown’s) be agreed to.