Page 732 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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Independent Integrity Commission—Select Committee

Report—government response

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (3.23): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Independent Integrity Commission—Select Committee—Report—Inquiry into an Independent Integrity Commission—Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

I am pleased to table the government’s response to the select committee report as required by standing order 254A. The government response was provided to you, Madam Speaker, and you arranged for its out-of-session circulation to members of the Assembly on 26 February 2018.

As members are aware, on 31 October the select committee tabled its report recommending that the government establish a standing ACT anti-corruption and integrity commission to investigate, expose and prevent corruption and foster public confidence in the integrity of the ACT government. The committee made 79 significant, wide-ranging recommendations relating to the ACT integrity framework, jurisdiction, scope and power, accountability, independence, staffing and resourcing, legislative application and other issues.

The government is committed to establishing an integrity body with a mandate to investigate significant and serious allegations of fraud and corruption, public administration and to strengthen public confidence in government integrity. The establishment of an integrity body is, indeed, an election commitment and is included in the parliamentary agreement for the Ninth Assembly.

The government’s position on each of the select committee’s 79 recommendations is set out in our response. In summary, the government agrees or agrees in part to 25, agrees in principle to 11 and notes 43 of the recommendations.

There is a need for such a body to be truly independent. This is why the government supported the view that the head of the new integrity body will be an officer of the Legislative Assembly appointed by the Speaker. We are working on draft legislation which will be referred to an Assembly committee, as requested by the Assembly committee, before being presented formally to the Assembly this year. I would like to thank the select committee for its comprehensive report which is guiding the establishment of the integrity body.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (3.26): I will speak briefly to this government’s response because there is clearly a lot of discussion left to go on this matter. The committee presented a very extensive report with a large number of recommendations. This certainly moves this issue forward. I would like to be clear at this point, in my

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