Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2035 ..
Similar to the court system, there are a number of key principles that underscore the necessity of an open and public process. The default of public examinations provides for the transparency and accountability of the conduct of the commission, public confidence in its operations, the discovery of further evidence, the education of the public, and it also has a general deterrent effect to prevent future corruption.
With this in mind, there may be times when the commission feels an examination would be more appropriately held in private. The public interest test has been incorporated to minimise risks to privacy and reputation and to allow the commission discretion to balance multiple considerations of procedural fairness and individual rights.
What I am presenting today is a proposal for what I think is a very good framework for an anti-corruption commission in Canberra. As per the select committee recommendation, this bill should be sent to another select committee for review and improvement so that we can have this legislation passed in 2018. My office has done a huge amount of work on this legislation because we believe it is important. We were very concerned that this process would drag out unless we drove it.
The importance of public accountability and transparency cannot be understated. This bill puts integrity first and makes public examination the default of the commission. As Lord Justice Salmon said, it is only when the public is present at an inquiry that it will have complete confidence that everything has been done for the purpose of arriving at the truth. Whilst we have an Auditor-General and we have the police, there is a gap. I believe, and I hope, that the anti-corruption and integrity commission will fill that void. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present this bill.
Debate (on motion by Mr Barr) adjourned to the next sitting.
Independent Integrity Commission 2018—Select Committee
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.17), by leave: I move:
(1) that a select committee be established to further inquire into the establishment of an integrity commission for the ACT, through examination of a draft Government bill and the Anti-corruption and Integrity Commission Bill 2018, and other related matters, with consideration of:
(a) the Select Committee on an Independent Integrity Commission’s report released in October 2017; and
(b) human rights requirements under the Human Rights Act 2004;
(2) the select committee shall consist of the same Members of the previous select committee inquiring into an Independent Integrity Commission, unless a Member is unavailable, consisting of:
(a) two Members to be nominated by the Government;