31 former judges call for the establishment of a National Integrity Commission

Media release embargo 6am 18th May 2022 31 former judges have signed an open letter calling on political leaders to establish a National Integrity Commission. Signatories include former judge of the High Court Mary Gaudron QC, former Chief Justice of Queensland Catherine Holmes AC QC, and former Federal Court judge Michael Barker QC. The letter states: “Despite… 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

Who pays the piper? Political parties funded by associated entities and millionaires

Media release 31st January 2022 New research by the Centre for Public Integrity finds that the funding of our political parties is dominated by opaque associated entities and large donations over $1 million. Analysis of donations declared to the AEC over 22 years from 1998/1999-2019/2020 shows that: The Australian Labor Party was the largest fundraiser,… 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

Parliamentary democracy at risk from COVID borders

The limited ability for MPs to participate in Parliament online is putting our Parliamentary democracy at risk, according to former judges and accountability experts. The Centre for Public Integrity has published new research that finds: Current Parliamentary procedures allow limited online participation for MPs, with no ability to table bills or amendments, make speeches or… Read More

Grant administration needs overhaul, experts propose 3 crucial reforms

Media release 3rd August 2021. Australia’s system of administering grants is broken and needs systemic reform, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. The research finds that 100% of grant programs audited by the ANAO since 2019 were found to be flawed, with problems identified ranging from minor areas for improvement to… Read More

Victorian Government avoiding scrutiny of COVID response

Media release 23rd June 2021. The Victorian Government is avoiding scrutiny of its COVID response, according to new research from the Centre for Public Integrity. The research finds: The COVID response has seen excessive power placed in the hands of individual Ministers and the Chief Health Officer; These powers have been exercised by public health… Read More

Stakeholders in consensus on CIC – not fit for purpose

Media release The Government is the only major supporter of its CIC bill, Analysis of major stakeholder’s submissions to the draft CIC bill show that there is virtually unanimous opposition to the CIC’s jurisdiction and powers. The Centre for Public Integrity analysed 18 organisation’s submissions and found that: No organisation supports the CIC’s split into… Read More

Independent Funding Tribunal required to stop political cuts to accountability institutions

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… Read More

Government’s broken promise on integrity commission

Media release 12 May 2021 Corruption experts have raised concern over the Government’s broken promise to establish an integrity commission before the next election. The 2021-22 Federal Budget provides zero funding and zero staff for the Commonwealth Integrity Commission, despite being announced 2.5 years ago. “Australia urgently needs a National Integrity Commission. The Government has… Read More

Commonwealth Procurement Rules unenforced and ineffective – new analysis

Media release 29 April 2021. Land procurement at Western Sydney Airport is exempt from oversight under the procurement rules, according to a new submission to the inquiry. Analysis from the Centre for Public Integrity has found that enforcement and accountability of CPRs is largely ineffective. Although the Act provides for judicial review of alleged contraventions… Read More

Resources industry donated $136 million over 20 years

Media release 18 January 2021 New analysis of 20 years of AEC donation disclosures shows the resources industry is the largest donating industry to Australia’s political parties and campaigners. The research from the Centre for Public Integrity shows: The resources industry is the largest donating industry, making contributions 2.5 times greater than the property industry,… Read More

Commonwealth Integrity Commission Bill – A sham designed to cover up corruption

Media release 2nd November Analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity of the Government’s Commonwealth Integrity Commission Bill finds that while it has promised an organisation “with greater powers than a Royal Commission”, the reality is that what is has proposed is an organisation that is not fit for purpose. The following aspects of the Bill need to be… Read More

Accountability deficit: $1.4 billion in funding cuts to accountability institutions since 2010

Analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity has found that funding of accountability institutions has been cut dramatically in the past ten years. The research finds: Total funding of accountability institutions has been cut by $1.4 billion in real terms since 2010, down from $4.8 billion to $3.4 billion Percentage of budget allocation to accountability… Read More

Unchecked executive power needs to be reined in – former judge

Media release 10 July 2020. Individual Ministers are bypassing Parliament and making major policy decisions, according to a new submission from the Centre for Public Integrity published today. The submission finds: The response to COVID-19 has concentrated executive power Major decisions of policy and spending are being determined by individual Ministers, bypassing Parliament via delegated… Read More

Media release: Somyurek scandals shows need for a National Integrity Commission and a stronger IBAC

The Centre for Public Integrity is today calling for stronger corruption investigation capacity in Victoria and federally, in response to the revelations involving branch stacking by former Victorian Minister Adem Somyurek. “The revelations involving Adem Somyurek highlight the need for stronger corruption investigation capacity at a state and federal level,” said Geoffrey Watson SC. “Victoria’s… Read More

Joint statement on Covid Coordination Commission

Today, a former NSW Court of Appeal judge Anthony Whealy QC, and law and integrity groups, are calling on the Prime Minister to establish greater transparency and integrity measures for the opaque and unaccountable National Covid Coordination Commission (NCCC) and its Manufacturing Working Group, ahead of the Commission’s appearance at Covid Select Senate Committee hearings.… Read More

Letter to PM – Parliament must resume

To Prime Minister Scott Morrison, We are concerned with ensuring greater parliamentary scrutiny and safeguarding democratic processes in relation to the government’s response to COVID-19. Normal Parliamentary sittings have been adjourned until August. Individual Ministers have been given the power to allocate multi-billion dollar discretionary funds and write the rules for major policy response programs.… Read More

New research: pandemic international but shutting Parliament uniquely Australian

The Centre for Public Integrity today launched new research showing that Australia is the only democracy facing coronavirus that has suspended Parliament. The research shows: Australian Parliament suspended for 5 months until 11 August. Number of sitting days for 2020 cut by 21, which is almost a 30% reduction in the 72 scheduled sitting days… Read More

Hidden money in politics: What the AEC disclosures won’t show us

Media release 11 February 2020. A new briefing paper released by The Centre for Public Integrity today shows that vast amounts of money potentially influencing last year’s federal election will not be disclosed to the public. Annual returns released on Monday by the Australian Electoral Commission will only cover some donations to political parties and… Read More

Opinion: Senator McKenzie and the case for a National Integrity Commission

By Ross Stitt, 17th January 2020. The decline of integrity in Australian politics is a long and dispiriting tale. The latest chapter has been written by Senator Bridget McKenzie, and what a sorry chapter it is. In her previous incarnation as Minister for Sport Senator McKenzie ‘oversaw’ the distribution of $100m of taxpayers’ money under… Read More

MR: “Accountability institutions are under attack” – former integrity officials call for greater independence, funding and powers

Media release 29th October 2019 Former integrity officials today launched 10 reform principles to strengthen accountability institutions, in the wake of ongoing attacks on the judiciary, the media, corruption commissions, and other important agencies. Former judge Paul Stein AM QC, former Independent Security Legislation Monitor Bret Walker SC, former ABC journalist Quentin Dempster AM, and… Read More

Corruption experts welcome Queensland donations reform

Media release 29th October 2019 Leading corruption experts and former judges today welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement of electoral reform. Reforms include caps on electoral expenditure and donations, and increasing public funding, which aligns with The Centre for Public Integrity’s 15 Point Plan to eliminate the undue influence of money in politics. “The Centre for… Read More

Media release: Former judges call for donations and lobbying reform in the wake of 2019 election

Former judges and leading experts today called for caps on electoral expenditure, real time disclosure of donations over $1000 and tighter post-separation employment restrictions as priority reforms in the wake of the 2019 election. Former judge and Chair of The Centre for Public Integrity, the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, joined with Melbourne Law Professor Joo… Read More

Government fails to support effective national integrity commission

A strong and independent National Integrity Commission is urgently needed to begin restoring public trust in government. The recent scandal involving Crown Casino provides ample evidence of the gaps in our current integrity system. No existing agency has the ability to effectively investigate and expose allegations of corruption involving federal government at all levels. The… Read More

Media release: Former judges and experts launch plan to tackle money in politics

Former judges and leading experts today launched a 15 point plan to eliminate the undue influence of money in politics. Former judge and Chair of The Centre for Public Integrity, the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, joined with Melbourne Law Professor Joo Cheong Tham and former Senator Tim Storer to develop the plan, which covers key… Read More

Former judges launch Integrity Reform Agenda

Media release 17th July 2019 Former judges Tony Fitzgerald, David Ipp, Anthony Whealy and Stephen Charles have joined with integrity experts to launch a new think tank dedicated to preventing corruption and restoring public trust. They today launched the Integrity Reform Agenda outlining urgent reforms needed in our integrity system: Preventing corruption through a National… Read More