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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Deja vu: Government announces comprehensive review of parliamentary entitlements

Six years ago the then government announced a 'root and branch review' of parliamentary entitlements following critical findings by the Auditor General

The committee chaired by Barbara Belcher reported in April 2010. The government sat on the report for a year before releasing it.

As recounted here the Auditor General six weeks ago reported something had been done on 17 of the committee's 39 recommendations. But
"there has been no formal government response to the recommendations of the CROPE (Belcher) report, or subsequent Remuneration Tribunal report, in relation to fundamental reform of the legislative and administrative framework underpinning the provision of Parliamentarians’ ‘tools of trade’." 
Today the Prime Minister announced
The rules governing the parliamentary entitlements system need reform....The rules lack clarity and lack transparency. We need a system that is simple, effective and clear. We need a system that more independently sets and monitors parliamentary entitlements, working with the Department of Finance and the independent Remuneration Tribunal. We need a system that enables parliamentarians, their staff, and the public, to operate inside the rules with confidence and for those rules to meet the expectations of the community. We need a system that supports the work and activities of current day politicians, from diverse electorates, and helps them to serve their constituencies, parties and the Parliament. The Government has asked former Secretary of the Department of Finance, Mr David Tune AO PSM, and Chair of the Remuneration Tribunal, Mr John Conde AO, to co-chair a committee to examine how best to deliver a more independent system.This committee starts with a blank sheet of paper to provide options on a system that is truly independent.
I'm sure they're serious this time. 


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