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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Good governments recognise integrity and accountability are part of the package

Evidence that those who win public office have sniffed the breeze: the new governments in Victoria and Queensland have each appointed a special minister of state responsible for integrity and accountability issues. 

Hopefully a pointer for those running for office next in NSW on 28 March.

And for a federal government now almost half way through its term whose leader declared a week ago "good government starts today." 

The government has virtually nothing positive to show on the integrity and accountability front after 17 months. 

And its bill to abolish the independent statutory office established to oversight the public right to access government information remains on the bills list while the office operates with "reduced resources in anticipation of closure."

In a poll four months ago 46.5 per cent believed the Federal government to be untrustworthy, a lower level of trust than enjoyed by state and local counterparts.

 It's likely to have gone to new depths since.

Good government includes recognition that integrity and accountability are part of the package.

Followed by action to match on political donations and lobbying reform; transparency, supporting open government instead of closing down the information commissioner; an anti corruption plan to include an anti corruption body; upgrading whistleblower protection to best practice standard; a code of ethics for parliamentarians; and signing on to the Open Government Partnership.

All the while going beyond the public servants in the parliamentary triangle to engage with the broader community on these and related issues.

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