Has Attorney General Roxon got to the bottom of the red box yet to find these issues sitting alongside papers about the conviction of Allan Kessing and the pardon application under consideration since October 2009?
Wilkie may now not be as influential as he was in 2010. And perhaps WikiLeaks/Julian Assange has effected more influence (in a cautionary sense) on the government than he, without even trying. The government and parliament have been busy, busy, busy of course-266 bills passed and all that. The odds on a new order of things after Monday are not great I'm afraid unless Wilkie and others like minded make it an issue."his decision to resign from the Office of National Assessments (ONA) on 11 March 2003 in protest over the Iraq war. He was the only serving intelligence official in Australia, the UK and US to resign publicly before the invasion."
A recap on the timeline for whistleblower reform and some relevant information and statistics drawn from the State of the Service Report published last year:
- ALP commitment to act prior to 2007 election.
- House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs asked to examine models in 2008 and reported in 2009.
- Government responded in March 2010 to the recommendations in a reasonably positive manner and goes a bit further than the committee in some respects, to the sound of some hands clapping. Then attorney general McClelland said at the time “The Government supports a pro-disclosure culture in the Australian public sector, underpinned by enhanced whistleblower protection mechanisms, as part of its commitment to integrity in Australian governance. Whistleblower protection is about ensuring that there are appropriate processes in place, and protections offered, to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoing, misconduct and corruption. The Government is committed to providing best-practice legislation to achieve this end. The Government will develop legislation reflecting this Government response for introduction during this year.(ie 2010). A further announcement about the legislation will be made in due course.”
- The Gillard deal in September 2010 with Andrew Wilkie to enable formation of her government included a commitment that parliament would pass the law by July 2011.
- The only recent reference in the time since was in the Australian
Public Service Commission State of the Service Report 2010-2011 released in November 2011:
The government is finalising the Public Interest Disclosure Bill. The legislation is intended to set up a scheme that provides for the investigation of unacceptable conduct in the Australian Government sector and expand the protections available to people reporting wrongdoing. The legislation is expected to be introduced to parliament in 2011.
Here we are, nudging March 2012 and nothing to show for promises that go back five years. Meanwhile back in the public service..
This year, agencies were asked to provide details on whistleblowing reports lodged and finalised during 2010–11. Seventy-six reports were lodged with agency heads or authorised representatives and 52 inquiries into whistleblowing reports were finalised in 2010–11. Of those finalised, only 10% concluded that an investigation into the alleged misconduct should begin. Table 3.5 shows the subject matter of whistleblowing reports lodged this year. The most common allegations concerned harassment and/or bullying (23%), improper use of position or status (16%) and fraud other than theft (14%).
|Source: Agency survey
|Subject matter||Reports lodged (no.)|
|Harassment and/or bullying||18|
|Improper use of position or status (e.g. abuse of power, exceeding delegations)||12|
|Fraud other than theft (e.g. identity fraud)||11|
|Improper use of resources other than internet/email (e.g. vehicles)||8|
|Inappropriate behaviour (other than harassment or bullying) of employees during working hours (e.g. dishonest or unprofessional behaviour to other employees, clients or stakeholders)||6|
|Conflict of interest||6|
|Improper use of internet/email||4|
|Improper access to personal information (e.g. browsing)||3|
|Private behaviour of employees (e.g. at social functions outside working hours)||3|
|Misuse of drugs or alcohol|
The proportion of investigations undertaken as a result of a whistleblowing report remained low this year, comprising 1% of all investigations.