How do we lift the standard of integrity in Victorian politics?
The Operation Watts report describes Victoria’s systems of parliamentary accountability as being weak and sets out a series of 21 recommendations to improve the standard of integrity and accountability in Victoria.
My commitments to integrity include:
- Fully implementing all 21 recommendations of Operation Watts
- Establishing a Parliamentary Ethics Committee
- Removing the exceptional circumstances requirement on public hearings, granting IBAC further discretion over when public hearings are held
- Broadening IBAC’s powers to allow the investigation of all forms of corruption, currently IBAC can only investigate if the conduct is deemed a criminal offence
- Lower the requirements for an IBAC investigation to commence. Currently, IBAC can only commence an investigation if it ‘suspects on reasonable grounds’ that corruption has occurred. Establishing reasonable grounds should not be a precondition as this is the entire purpose of an investigation
- Establishing a mechanism to ensure IBAC funding is Independent of government
- Legislate a mechanism that mandates evidence for major spending decisions be presented to Parliament to improve transparency and accountability of public spending
- Supporting legislation to regulate lobbying as recommended by IBAC
- Reform above the line voting for the upper house by removing group voting tickets as done for the Senate, granting control of preferences to the voter
- Legislate requirements for Ministers and the Premier to regularly disclose their diaries and meetings