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Friday, May 06, 2011

Victoria's planned ban on lobbyist success fees modest in comparison

 Victorian Budget Paper 3 lists election commitments to be delivered by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in 2011-2012 (Chapter 1 P 67) . The Department
"will redirect funds to implement a ban on lobbyists’ success fees for public or State tenders or projects. This will contribute to higher standards of probity and transparency in Victorian public activities."
No timetable or other details. Maybe this is budget shorthand for what is intended. The Liberal Party made a more general pre-election commitment in a letter to the Accountability Roundtable:
The Coalition will establish a register of lobbyists and a ban on lobbyist success fees to ensure the highest standards of probity and integrity in government decision-making."
The Register was an initiative of the previous government in late 2009.

A ban on success fees for lobbying on "tenders and projects" as described in the Budget Papers is narrow and no big deal when compared to what is to be covered by the ban in NSW legislation introduced into Parliament this week. The NSW bill would apply to those seeking to influence legislation or proposed legislation, a government decision or policy or proposed government decision or policy, a planning application, or the exercise by an official of the official’s official functions.

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