New analysis from The Australia Institute has shown that the different designs of various anti-corruption bodies at a State level yield significantly different results and has reinforced the need for a proposed Federal body to have adequate resourcing and powers.
A panel of former judges that make up The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee have supported the report and are calling for the establishment of a National Integrity Commission with broad jurisdiction and strong investigative powers, including public hearings.
“A watchdog with no teeth would be a terrible outcome,” Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, said.
“We currently have a once in a generation chance to establish a fair dinkum anti-corruption body at a Federal level. A weak and underpowered corruption watchdog would further undermine the public’s already weakened confidence in our governance arrangements.
“What we have learnt from the state based anti-corruption bodies is that, for a Federal body to be effective, it must have proper resourcing, a broad jurisdiction, strong investigative powers and the ability to hold public hearings when necessary.
“Corruption can only grow when it is kept behind closed doors. We have to get this right to help restore the electorate’s trust in our country’s politicians and public institutions.”
The ‘Different Breeds of Watchdog’ report is available for download here