This submission is made on behalf of the National Integrity Committee. We are an independent group of retired judges who have been involved in advocating the need for a National Integrity Commission. The Committee was formed with the assistance of The Australia Institute. However, we remain an entirely independent body acting in the public interest on a pro bono basis.
In brief, our submission is that the government proposal falls disastrously short of providing an effective body to counter and expose corruption at a National level. Especially in relation to the examination of corruption in the public sector, this model will rightly be seen by the community as a sham, and as a deliberate political diversion designed to shield the public sector, and in particular politicians and their staff, from proper scrutiny and accountability. It will bring the government into justified contempt and harm Australia‘s reputation. Our stocks in the integrity field are presently low and this proposal will further diminish them, and significantly so.
In our view, an ineffective commission is worse than no commission at all.