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Reporting Suspected Corruption/Fraud in the ACT Government

By 17 March 2014 10

In  a previous post, I have questioned why there is not the equivalent of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that exists in NSW, does not have a similar agency in the ACT for those who wish to report  suspected corruption or fraud committed by or against the ACT Government.

Given the recent allegations made against the ACT Public Trustee, I accessed the ACT Government website and cannot find a “Report Fraud” link or contact.  Searching for “Fraud” on the website gives no joy.  I also note that in December last year, the ABC reported that lax computer security may expose the ACT Government to fraud.

Does suspected corruption or fraud within the ACT Government have to be discovered or reported from within, or do citizens have to voice their concerns to media to get some action?

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10 Responses to
Reporting Suspected Corruption/Fraud in the ACT Government
Stormfront Org 12:14 pm
17 Mar 14
#1

I’m with you on this one.
Largest area that should be investigated Roads: who signs off acceptance papers after roads were resealed?
Quality is shocking, as well as job often incomplete (loose gravel left and was not swept). And often, it is areas that do not need resealing that are done.
Some big kickbacks there without a doubt.

pptvb 2:59 pm
17 Mar 14
#2

Call the office of Public Trustee for the ACT.
I’m sure someone there would know!

dtc 5:47 pm
17 Mar 14
#3

Perhaps I am naive, but having working in contracting and procurement for 20yrs, its unlikely to be kickbacks, its much more likely to be incompetence. Or staff/skill shortages (which is much the same thing as incompetence). Or a lack of money to get the job done properly.

As to the OP question. Dont know, but there is always, you know, the police.

dungfungus 5:55 pm
17 Mar 14
#4

Funny sign at bottom of Erindale Drive just before the Sternberg Crescent roundabout referring to “Stage 1 of Ashley Drive Development”
What’s funny about that you say? Well, the work is being done on Erindale Drive not Ashley Drive which is about 200 metres to the West.

VicePope 9:44 pm
17 Mar 14
#5

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 may provide a mechanism for people to bring allegations of corruption to the attention of people who might be able to do something about them. I’d suspect, however, that one might need a bit more than a general feeling that something’s not quite right.

Silentforce 10:43 pm
17 Mar 14
#6

VicePope, the PID Act seems to apply to Commonwealth departments and agencies; and external territories as opposed to state and territory governments.

The point of this post is to highlight that all Cth government department websites I have viewed have a relatively easy to find link to report fraud as most departments have a dedicated fraud section. I do not see this feature on ACT Government websites. Is this to discourage reporting of suspected wrongdoing or should everyone report their suspicions to an already overstressed AFP in the first instance?

VicePope 7:03 am
18 Mar 14
#7

G’day SilentForce
There’s an ACT PID Act; it’s at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/pida2012295/. There was an earlier Act of the same name. The Commonwealth’s 2013 Act is at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_act/pida2013295/. (I really love Austlii sometimes).

The Ombudsman (ACT, though it’s the same person as the Commonwealth) has a role. The relevant bit of the last annual report is http://ombudsman.act.gov.au/pages/publications-and-media/reports/annual/ar2012-13/public-interest.html. Enjoy.

tommy 11:45 am
18 Mar 14
#8

Just report it to the ACT Police as fraud is a criminal offence. Obviously they will be very keen to see what evidence you have so you may want to consider that when you report it.

Silentforce 6:00 pm
18 Mar 14
#9

Thanks to those Posters who have replied. Question not answered though; maybe too hard.

An issue with reporting to ACT Policing/AFP is that there is no independent or arms-length authority to report to. After all, it is the AFP that the ACT Government contracts and pays to provide policing services for the ACT. Where is the assurance that the dog will bite the hand that feeds it written down; or are we taken for Mugs?

PantsMan 6:13 pm
18 Mar 14
#10

Silentforce said :

Thanks to those Posters who have replied. Question not answered though; maybe too hard.

An issue with reporting to ACT Policing/AFP is that there is no independent or arms-length authority to report to. After all, it is the AFP that the ACT Government contracts and pays to provide policing services for the ACT. Where is the assurance that the dog will bite the hand that feeds it written down; or are we taken for Mugs?

What the ACT Government wants you to do is make a public interest disclosure (PID). Then they get too investigate themselves, and find a way to make your complaint ‘go away’. Despite the PID Act requiring them to report any suspected criminality to the AFP, the get legal advice saying that the do not really think it is an offence, so they do not have to refer it on. They also fail to publically report things under the PID Act, and generally hush everything up. For an example, see here: http://www.parliament.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/552646/7-QToN-responses-ACT-Audit-Office-PH-17-Dec-13.pdf It’s like an ACT Labor protection racquet.

What I would do is write a letter to the ACT Chief Police Officer setting out your concerns. Don’t ring them up because you’ll get the local plod-types who only do car chases and stolen TVs. The AFP are subject to Commonwealth legislation and there are places you can complain about the AFP’s handling of a matter (Commonwealth Ombudsman etc.).

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