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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Transparency, accountability and integrity commitments hard to spot in Tasmanian and SA elections

I haven't dug deep in either state but these issues don't appear to have been anywhere near the forefront in the campaigns leading to the elections this Saturday. 

Maybe it goes without saying like 'truth, justice and Oi, Oi, Oi!'

Glad to hear from you if I've missed something important (and credible).

Tasmanians for Transparency received little encouragement from the major parties in putting forward a 12 point plan (see below) for honest government-see Honest Government not on the election agenda for the Major Parties and Liberals score zero on honest government plan. At least they had a go.

Among the many sprinklings of fairy dust ALP Policy states 
Labor believes in open government and will make every effort to eliminate “commercial-in-confidence” and similar clauses from government contracts and will only retain these where there is a compelling reason to do so. Government contracts will normally be published, where they can be readily scrutinised by the community. 
Perhaps Liberal Party Policy contains something relevant but it doesn't leap out at you. I'll leave The Greens and Palmer United to a deeper digger.

South Australia
Nothing obvious on these issues in the election spread in The Advertiser.

No headline in ALP Policy.

 Liberal Party Policy includes a Justice Action Agenda that contains a commitment to Strengthen the ICAC(pdf) and Strengthen Open Society through Shield Laws (pdf), and at least this mention:
Our commitment to shield laws is part of our Justice Action Agenda to ensure a fair, accountable government and transparent society. Shield laws support the media’s legitimate role in uncovering often difficult evidence and then using that to hold the powerful to account.
In contrast and good for them, transparent and honest government is clearly front and center for The Greens. 

 Palmer has endorsed a team of independents for the upper house.


1. Establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption that is transparent, and properly resourced, structured, and empowered, and based on a proven model, to replace the Tasmanian Integrity Commission.
2. Introduce stronger, workable and usable protections for whistleblowers and compensation provisions for any person harmed by the actions of government.
3. Establish an independent Office for Witness and Whistleblower Protection.
4. Establish a Commission of Inquiry into the Sue Neill-Fraser and Barry Greenberry cases, and any allegations of misconduct in the Justice Department.
5. Establish a Criminal Justice Reform Taskforce to review recommendations made by a Commission of Inquiry into the Sue Neill-Fraser case, to expedite the urgent reforms necessary to the criminal justice system.
6. Introduce legislation for greater transparency and accountability for Tasmania Police, including the publication of the Tasmanian Police Manual, as required by the Police Service Act 2003, section 93.
7. Undertake a comprehensive overhaul of State Executive Service positions, and powers, accountability and tenure within Tasmania’s oversight agencies and government departments, including the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
8. Legislate for mandatory publication of: all reports by companies and consultants provided to government under compliance obligations of statutory regulatory bodies, such as exist in other jurisdictions; and all documentation concerning commercial dealings with government.
9. Amend Right to Information legislation, and the Archives Act and review the discretionary powers of the Ombudsman on deemed refusals in RTI applications.
10. Establish an independent Public Interest Advocacy Centre, to replace the Environmental Defenders Office, liaising with an Independent Police Complaints Advocate and Prison Inspector.
11. Mandate the independence of the Environment Protection Authority and Workplace Standards Tasmania as offices accountable to the Parliament of Tasmania.
12. Inclusion of ethics and responsible citizenship in the schools’ curricula.

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