Local, Independant and Effective
November 23, 2018

Cathy to introduce National Integrity Commission Bill 2018

Federal Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan will introduce a Bill to the House of Representatives on Monday 26 November calling for the establishment of a National Integrity Commission.

This Bill is part of a package of bills to promote public trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament, the public sector and the system of Government. The intent is to create a nationally coordinated integrity framework, with an emphasis on prevention, supported by strong powers of investigation to enable criminal charges or other actions in response to cases of corruption.

The Bill will establish the Australian National Integrity Commission as an independent, broad-based public sector anti-corruption commission for the Commonwealth. The objective is to promote integrity and accountability; prevent, investigate and expose corruption; support development and implementation of a national integrity and anti-corruption plan; improve coordination and efficiency in the Commonwealth integrity system; and ensure protection of whistleblowers.

The Commission will lead a strong and embedded corruption prevention program for the Commonwealth public sector and will enhance the existing Commonwealth multi-agency integrity system. It will have the powers of a Royal Commission to investigate, where necessary, corruption issues involving or affecting the Commonwealth Government; and to hold a public inquiry or public hearings.

The Bill builds on best practice and is based on research and recommendations from Transparency International, The Australia Institute, Griffith University, the Attorney General’s office, crossbench MPs, as well as government and opposition MPs.

Ms McGowan will introduce the Bill, seconded by Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

“One of the fundamental aspects of this Bill is creating a culture of integrity and ways we can prevent corruption. We’ll be asking agencies to have action plans so they can focus on prevention, education, research and investigation, as well as corruption,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan welcomed the Greens’ motion, passed in the Senate and opposition leader Bill Shorten’s call for a NIC to be established.

“I am calling on the government and the opposition to bring this Bill on for debate and a vote before the 2019 Federal election,” Ms McGowan said.

A second Bill, the National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018, to establish a code of conduct for Members of Parliament and their staff, will be tabled on Monday, 3 December.

The legislation and explanatory memorandum, as well as a video of Ms McGowan speaking to the Bill as it is introduced will be available at www.cathymcgowan.com.au/videos_gallery on Monday, 26 November.

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