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Monday, September 02, 2013

The Coaltion all for restoring trust, but not talking about the detail

Inside the last week, there is little from the major parties about how they intend to govern, particularly to restore trust and operate in accordance with high standards of integrity.

The ALP at least replied to Transparency International Australia (ALP response pdf) and the Accountability Roundtable (ALP response pdf) recounting the record of reform over the last six years and indicating an intention, if re elected, to examine scope for doing some of the things flagged by both groups - in broad general terms only.

But the Liberal Party hasn't responded so far to the invitations to set out their policies and priorities in this space.The Party's Plan for Real Action doesn't say anything relevant either.

If the Opposition wins, it remains to be seen what Tony Abbott 's observation that the trust deficit is highest on his list of deficits may mean for transparency, accountability, open government, anti-corruption initiatives such as a national or parliamentary integrity commission, a code of conduct for parliamentarians, political party donations, lobbying reform, taking whistleblower protection to the next level, and a host of other integrity related issues.

Just what an incoming Liberal/National party government would do regarding the current government commitment that Australia join the Open Government Partnership is also uncertain. As far as I am aware no-one has said a word on the subject, publicly at least. Several messages, raising the question with Shadow Attorney General Brandis, Shadow Foreign Minister Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull remain unanswered.

Surely we can expect bipartisanship on this commitment?

The Greens, commendably are committed to action across the integrity spectrum as set out in this response pdf to TI Australia and this to the Accountability Roundtable pdf. They may  have some clout. Longer odds the Pirate Party Australia and the Wikileaks Party
- although they're ready.

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