Customs scandal shows national anti-corruption body needed: Bandt

In light of today's reports of corruption in Customs, Australian Greens Acting Leader, Adam Bandt MP, has called on the government to support Greens' legislation establishing a national anti-corruption commission.

The National Integrity Commissioner Bill 2012, currently before Parliament, would establish a national anti-corruption body charged with overseeing all public officials and Commonwealth agencies.

"Minister Clare's Customs Reform Board is a nice idea, but why not have someone like Justice James Wood heading a national corruption fighting body, instead of merely making recommendations some time down the track?" Mr Bandt said.

"With the Customs corruption revelations coming on the back of the RBA banknote bribery affair, the time has come for a national anti-corruption body."

"Piecemeal agency-by-agency oversight is not enough. We need a national anti-corruption body with teeth."

"State anti-corruption bodies are having an effect, so what reason can there be for not having one at a national level?" 

The Greens' National Integrity Commissioner Bill 2012 currently before the Parliament would establish a National Integrity Commissioner. Its powers and functions would be based on the existing Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner, which currently covers the Australian Federal Policy, Crime Commission and Customs.

It would also establish an Independent Parliamentary Advisor to provide written advice to Ministers and parliamentarians on standards, codes of conduct, entitlements, potential conflicts of interest, ethical issues and matters of propriety.

20 December 2012

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