Media release

An Independent Funding Tribunal is required to ensure accountability institutions budgets remain safe from political meddling, according to new research from the Centre for Public Integrity.

The Tribunal would follow the model set by the Remuneration Tribunal, including with the powers to inquire into and determine appropriate funding levels. The Centre’s research sets out 6 design principles for the new agency.

“The ANAO and the ABC have suffered 10% and 23% cuts respectively in the past 10 years. The CIC’s funding has been removed completely,” said the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, Chair of the Centre for Public Integrity.

“These institutions are crucial to the functioning of our democracy. They need stable and independent funding sources so they scrutinise government without fear of being reprimanded on Budget Night,” said Mr Whealy.

“Accountability institutions should not be scared to bite the hand that feeds them, indeed that is their job,” said Geoffrey Watson SC, Director of the Centre for Public Integrity. “Why does the judiciary receive independent funding and not our critical oversight agencies?” said Mr Watson.

Read the Centre’s proposal for an Independent Funding Tribunal here.