A life dedicated to the law and justice, without fear or favour

This interview with our committee member Nicholas Cowdrey AO QC by Peter Fitzsimmons was published in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 3 2022. Nicholas Richard Cowdery AO, QC, is the longest-serving director of public prosecutions in Australian history, having served in the role for NSW from 1994-2011. I talked to him on Friday morning.… Read More

Siblings’ planning ties highlight flaws in lobbying laws

Lobbying is an undeniable reality of government decision-making in Australia, and the OECD has recognised that it can make a valuable contribution to the democratic process. It also cautions, however, that lobbying can lead to “undue influence, unfair competition and regulatory capture to the detriment of the public”.
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Liberal MP was ‘patron’ of Queensland gun club for which he claimed to have ‘secured’ $20,000 grant

Ross Vasta says he had ‘no decision-making power over the process or the outcome’ in grant to Belmont Branch of the Sporting Shooters Association A Liberal MP said that he “secured” a $20,000 grant for a gun club which lists him as its patron, raising questions about whether he should have disclosed his links to… Read More

Taxpayers fund $55.6 billion in federal grants over less than four years

Taxpayers have funded $55.6 billion in federal grants over less than four years under rules that give ministers sweeping powers to decide the payments, with new research fuelling an election row over calls to establish a national integrity commission to safeguard public funds. The findings show the grants reached $20 billion last year alone across… Read More

Pork barrel politics isn’t just about integrity; it is corrupt

Written by Anthony Whealy. The current chair of the Centre for Public Integrity he is a former NSW Supreme Court judge and a former assistant commissioner of the ICAC. This article was originally published in the Australian Financial Review on May 2, 2022. It is a concern when a major newspaper, in this case, The… Read More

Over $55 billion in grants necessitates new scrutiny framework

A new framework for the administration of government grants is urgently required, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. With over $55 billion in government grants distributed by the Morrison Government, and the Australian National Audit Office finding systemic problems with grant administration, greater scrutiny is vital. The research recommends a tripartite… Read More

Source of $1.5 billion in party income hidden from public view

Media release New research from the Centre for Public Integrity shows hidden money continues to fund our democracy. Analysis of the latest AEC figures shows: The source of $49.55 million in party income was hidden from public view in 2019-2020 The total dark money since 1999 is $1.5 billion More money is hidden in election… Read More