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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Queensland shapes up for more reform

The Queensland Government Response yesterday to the public consultation about integrity and accountability includes plans for a suite of reforms that again will see that state move ahead of the rest of the field. And promptly- deadlines for action are by the end of the year or mid 2010. Here are some highlights:

Ban the payment of success fees to lobbyists for achieving favourable outcomes from government.

Replace the Code for Lobbyists with a legislative framework for the regulation of the lobbying industry and put oversight in the hands of the Integrity Commissioner.

Introduce measures to require newly appointed public service officers and ministerial staff to disclose whether they have worked as lobbyists in the past two years.

Create a statutory obligation on Members of Parliament to declare their pecuniary interests rather than leave this to Parliament's Rules.

Require all statutory office holders to declare their pecuniary interests.

Publish the pecuniary interests of Members of Parliament and Ministerial and departmental gift registers online.

Reform the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994.

Hold regular People’s Question Time.

Lower the threshold for reporting some details of contracts from $100,000 to $10,000.

Ensure publication of contracts over $10 million.

Overhaul political donations and campaign funding if the Commonwealth does not act by July 2010.

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