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Monday, August 14, 2006

Call to raise the bar on accountability standards

In a paper released last week by the Australasian Study of Parliament Group, two former speakers of state houses of parliament and a group of academics have highlighted the low standards of accountability in all Australian jurisdictions.

“Why Accountability Must be Renewed” (expected to be available soon on their website) calls for reforms in parliamentary processes, and changes in FOI laws to ensure that government is accountable for its conduct of public functions.

This Sydney Morning Herald editorial and this opinion piece by Michelle Grattan in The Age support the proposals but neither are optimistic about the possible take up by governments that have redefined accountability obligations to suit their purposes.

Given their low credibility, would we believe either of our major political parties if they promised greater accountability anyway?

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