Why do we want it? Underpins democratic governance –inclusion –fairness/equity –government acts in public interest Essential for good governance –bulwark against corruption –reduces waste –ensures merit –stop rent seeking Organisations better than individuals in it!
Mapping the territory NSW: Independent Commission Against Corruption; Police Integrity Commission, Police Integrity Commission Inspector and Crime Commission QLD: Criminal Justice Commission now Crime and Misconduct Commission WA: Corruption and Crime Commission TAS: Integrity Commission VIC: Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission SA: Independent Commissioner Against Corruption CMTH: Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity; Australian Crime Commission
QLDCWTHNSWVICWASATASNTACT Independent public sector anti- corruption body such as the CMC. × × *×× Police anti-corruption body ×× *× Integrity Commissioner ×××××××× Register of Lobbyists × ×× *×× Lobbyist Code × ×× *×× Political donation disclosure (threshold) ($1000) ($10000) Note 3 ($1000) × ($1500) ×× ($1000) Whistleblower Protection legislation × Recent reforms to Freedom of Information Laws ×××× *× Ombudsman Public Service Code of Conduct/Ethics Stand-alone Ministerial Code of Conduct/Ethics × × Restrictions on post separation employment ××× × ××N×N Ban on direct holding of shares by Ministers and parliamentary Secretaries ×× Note 9 ××× Register of Members Interests Table 1: Australias Integrity Framework
In addition – in each policy area Host of integrity, review, oversight agencies But: -Slow -Narrow -Captured
Issues: the Goldilocks tests Just right – some minor tweaking Not enough – need more – National Integrity System (NIS) Integrity too focussed on wrongdoing – not on other public policy decisions Too much – wind it back
NIS Ethical principles as a basic guideline Clear laws, rules and standards that are openly enunciated Education about rules and principles for public servants & MPs Advice mechanisms on ethical issues as a proactive measure Protection of whistleblowers Transparency both interests, decisions and processes Enforcement as a deterrent by agencies with powers and penalties Strong institutions of government - ind judiciary, public service not politicised and parliament not subordinated executive Leadership example in personal behaviour/running of government Political culture supports integrity, ethical behaviour and democratic practices
Whats driving demands for NIS? Limits of one off public inquiries Limits of existing new integrity bodies Continuing politicisation of the public service Lobbying scandals Continuing police problems NSW scandals – 8 minsters/6 councils/Obeids Problems with police integrity bodies eg NSW Policy/institutional fashion
What integrity rules cannot do End duplicitous behaviour Cannot force truth in political argument –eg fact checkers on deficits ignored Ensure lack of self interest Replace societal norms Be disconnected from the political system in which operates
Some concerns Excessive regulation Focus on minutiae at expense of more important policy issues Honest officials do not need codes of conduct – dishonest ones will always sign Costs and benefits – why should integrity processes be exempt from this analysis –eg just what has the CMC delivered?
Some drivers? Over-reaction to minor misdemeanors Agenda set by media wanting instant actions/solutions Inflation of expectations Expansion of law, rights, and notions of recompense
Some concerns Excessive regulation Focus on minutiae Honest officials do not need codes of conduct – dishonest ones sign up Costs and benefits – why should integrity processes be exempt from this analysis
The co-ordination issue Findings by one integrity body have been dismissed or not upheld by another due to different evidentiary requirements or different interpretations of what constitutes misconduct and corruption. The result is public confusion and uncertainty. (Proust 2010, p ix)
Some questions How big is the corruption problem? How often are integrity mechanisms and officers actually used? Where are the gaps in existing mechanisms?: –what cannot be reported? –what can the media not pursue? –where do existing law enforcement agencies not have enough power? Where is the misallocation of $$$$? Turning the system upside down
Democracy, influence and sub- optimal expenditure...we should not forget... that the processes of democratic and representative systems... are based on compromise, on securing and using influence, on obtaining advantages for constituents... and for MPs and ministers... some level of compromised use of influence... is a necessary and unexceptional feature of our public life. Professor Paul Finn... we must be careful... to differentiate real corruption from activities which are regarded as corrupt by many... and which may produce sub-optimal expenditure patterns, but which are not patently corrupt. Hogwood and Peters
Total justice? There has developed in this country … a general expectation of justice… and a general expectation of recompense for injuries and loss for… total justice Lawrence Friedman Total Justice