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ACT Government – Corrupt or not corrupt what do you think? [With poll]

By PantsMan - 19 August 2011 40

Now that our Chiefly-Miss suggests she is amenable to a review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994, it may be time to consider how the ACT Government fares on the scale between corrupt and not corrupt.

Thorough shear happenstance, it appear that the ACT actually has an (unreformed) Freedom of Information Act, a quasi-Auditor-General, a Public Interest Disclosure Act, an Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act, and an Ombudsman we borrowed from the Commonwealth.

Our former CM’s predilection with human rights did not extend to freedom from the tyranny of corrupt governments, and we don’t have anything even approaching an anti-corruption commission that can look at the decisions of ministers and the executive.

And it’s not like we’ve been without our fair share of debacles:

  • Rhodium Asset Solutions;
  • an Acting Revenue Commissioner prosecuted for obtaining money by deception; or
  • the departure of Neil Savery.

Then today I happened upon the astounding case of the former ACT Treasury FOI contact officer appealing an FOI decision about a refusal to release documents about her own public interest disclosure.

It all leads me to ask:

ACT Government

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40 Responses to
ACT Government – Corrupt or not corrupt what do you think? [With poll]
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rommeldog56 1:16 pm 01 Oct 16

It will of course, be difficult to prove any personal corruption. However, I think ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t is experiencing what I would call “process corruption”, because they have simply been in power here far too long. Their increasingly desperate political agenda flows through to the bureaucracy – as can be seen in the Auditor Generals report.

Another example is the MOU between ACT Labor and Unions ACT. Whats the payback by Unions ACT ? Simple – just look at the deluge of anti Liberal adds being run by Unions ACT and their influence on the procurement processes. In my view, thats another form of “corruption”.

I hope that the ACT Auditor General now spreads her inquiry into the rest of the ACT Govt – especially their public works and procurement programs.

As the Lib’s have said, there is certainly a stink around the ACt Labor/Greens Gov’t which I dont think they can rectify. The best solution is for the Lib’s to get elected and then find the skeletons in the closets and disclose them.

Thumper 6:35 pm 21 Oct 13

I wouldn’t say corrupt, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the future turns up some extremely dodgy deals…

Besides, when it come to corruption and sheer incompetence, it’s usually the latter…

HiddenDragon 4:39 pm 21 Oct 13

Based on anecdote (what else) I get the impression that some ACT laws exist more to bind and control the public, than to guide and govern the decisions and actions of those who are paid, by public funds, to administer those laws – natural justice seems, at times, to be a particularly malleable, subjective and conditional thing. To the extent this is so, it is hardly surprising in a small, relatively close-knit town, governed by a unicameral legislature with fixed four year terms, “served” by a rather comfortable, lethargic media, and with an electorate which tends to lean strongly to one side of the political divide.

Robertson 4:20 pm 21 Oct 13

Also, having worked for the ACT Government, it is readily apparent that it lacks the kind of oversight that minimises corruption and misuse of public funds in the Federal public service.

Over-use of contractors, dodgy contracts and tenders, nepotistic appointments, and plain old staff bloat caused by the retention of chronic bludgers – the kind of stuff that is seen in the ACT Government wouldn’t last 5 seconds in a Federal department.

Robertson 4:18 pm 21 Oct 13

PorkChops said :

I voted yes based on my knowledge of what happened with Revolve.

Same here. Corruption.

PorkChops 3:05 pm 21 Oct 13

I voted yes based on my knowledge of what happened with Revolve.

housebound 2:38 pm 21 Oct 13

pajs said :

Seriously, if you think the ACT Government is too inept to stop dangerous dogs from looking at you funny, do you really think they would have the competence to run a ‘secretive social engineering offensive’ without the word getting out?

They do it all the time. I think the word is out, just not in those words, and not quite as systematically as proposed. It shows in the tone of comments from time-to-time.

pajs 2:31 pm 21 Oct 13

morticia said :

What about covert corruption like manipulating public opinion by having public servants, party members and the like posting on these forums to sway public opinion. Surely this propaganda is just as damaging to government transparency as anything else they do. I’ve seen cases on these Riot Act forums where nobody but government insiders would have some of the information or comments been posted on here. Clearly we have ACT government (via employees) conducting their own secretive social engineering offensive on almost every issue on these forums. Similarly with the liberals on these boards, too much insider knowledge to be outsiders. I propose Riot-ACT have a little authentic tick icon next to registered members who declare themselves part of the ACT public service or political parties. Wouldn’t be too difficult to find out right now who is posting from ACT legislative or ACT government servers, just by IP address I guess.

But your cunning plot may have the unintended consequence of revealing that you and Pantsman are one and the same person.

Seriously, if you think the ACT Government is too inept to stop dangerous dogs from looking at you funny, do you really think they would have the competence to run a ‘secretive social engineering offensive’ without the word getting out?

morticia 1:23 pm 21 Oct 13

What about covert corruption like manipulating public opinion by having public servants, party members and the like posting on these forums to sway public opinion. Surely this propaganda is just as damaging to government transparency as anything else they do. I’ve seen cases on these Riot Act forums where nobody but government insiders would have some of the information or comments been posted on here. Clearly we have ACT government (via employees) conducting their own secretive social engineering offensive on almost every issue on these forums. Similarly with the liberals on these boards, too much insider knowledge to be outsiders. I propose Riot-ACT have a little authentic tick icon next to registered members who declare themselves part of the ACT public service or political parties. Wouldn’t be too difficult to find out right now who is posting from ACT legislative or ACT government servers, just by IP address I guess.

Thoroughly Smashed 10:37 am 24 Aug 11

It’s easy to claim a politician who’s been involved in a debacle is corrupt, but it’s more likely that they’re merely inept, unless there’s good evidence to the contrary. cf. Hanlon’s Razor.

Jethro 10:29 am 24 Aug 11

While it’s probably not officially corruption, the close relationship between the government and developers might explain why the truly shoddy quality of the houses being built in some new developments is allowed to occur. It seems to be an under-regulated industry that could do with a decent shake-up and I can’t see this government being willing to do it.

what_the 9:01 am 24 Aug 11

fairgo4all said :

If you have voted NO, that ACT is not corrupt, then the propaganda and cover-ups have been and is being successful. YOU would be viewed as a good mushroom.

Propaganda? I didn’t realise Goebbels had been hired for the Ministry of the ACT Government!! No, i’ve just been to countries where they’d laugh at the concept of an FOI and probably throw you in jail. Bit of perspective is all.

PantsMan 8:09 am 24 Aug 11

Now we hear the ACT Government thinks it’s in contempt of court over withholding documents from the TAMS whistle-blower’s public interest disclosures.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/acts-contempt-charges/2268316.aspx

housebound 1:57 pm 22 Aug 11

Here’s the definition from the PID:
Disclosable conduct
(2) (a) conduct of a person (whether or not a public official) that adversely affects, or could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the honest or impartial performance of official functions by a public official or government agency; or
(b) conduct of a public official that amounts to the exercise of any of his or her official functions dishonestly or with partiality; or
(c) conduct of a public official, a former public official or a government agency that amounts to a breach of public trust; or
(d) conduct of a public official, a former public official or a government agency that amounts to the misuse of information or material acquired in the course of the exercise of official functions (whether for the benefit of that person or agency or otherwise); or
(e) a conspiracy or attempt to engage in conduct referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d).

I hadn’t heard the one about replacing the word corrupt with ‘disclosable conduct’.

fairgo4all 12:25 pm 22 Aug 11

If you have voted NO, that ACT is not corrupt, then the propaganda and cover-ups have been and is being successful. YOU would be viewed as a good mushroom.

For those who say No please read the definition of corruption in section 4 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act ACT 1994 ( the word ‘corrupt’ was defined in the original bill in 1994 but altered to ‘disclosable conduct’ when the Act was put in place) The word corrupt is used in section 9 q (1) of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 which came in at the same time- the definition relying on s3 and 4 of the PID Act 1994.

If there was no corruption why wouldn’t the ACT Greens ( see their governance platform on their website) and ACT Stanhope (now Gallagher) government already have in place, Best Practice Public Interest Disclosure ACT. The ACT PID Act is rated at 48.4% best practice (BP) Mr Stanhopes Government tried to roll this back with a bill in 2006 rated at 37.3% BP. Source (http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/151329/final.pdf)

Why don’t we have BP in our Public Interest Disclosure ACT and why have the ACT Greens ignored calls for help from a Whistleblower despite their governance platform?

Ask yourself if there is no corruption why isn’t the Government open and transparent to the people who employ them?

Why don’t we, the people, have a say as to who is appointed to the Judiciary to ensure a separation of powers as the Constitution intended, and ensure accountability for senior corrupt public officials?

Why, if there is no corruption do we have secrecy laws prohibiting public servants from speaking out to alert the public of ‘corruption” including serious and substantial risks to the health and safety of the public, public wastage etc? In NSW whistleblowers can go to the press or members of parliament if the corrupt conduct is covered up under their Act. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/pida1994313/s19.html

All ACT Public Servants have a statutory duty to disclose corrupt conduct. This is kept in house, ‘confidential’; a recipe for corruption to flourish, as it has. When these PS and or others speak out they are all too often crushed. I have witnessed this first hand, the bullying, intimidation, harassment negligent misinformation, deceit etc to conceal this disclosable “corrupt” conduct including by the Ombudsman’s Office.

Please read psychiatrist Dr Lennanes papers:
Battered Plaintiffs – injuries from hired guns and compliant courts http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/Lennane_battered.html
Abuse of Medical Assessments to Dismiss Whistleblowers http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/psychiatry.html

My experience shows, in the ACT it is impossible to find a law firm to expose ACT Government and or Comcare before the Courts and uphold the Human Rights and dignity of those brave persons who do speak out in the public interest. As Justice Evatt said words to the effect, if you can’t exercise your human rights through the courts you don’t effectively have any.
There is overwhelming evidence of widespread corruption as defined by this legislation, including:
1- the accommodation of crime by ACT Policing ( the rape and abduction of a child by a 35 year old drug dealer well known to the police and the intimidation of witnesses and successive accommodation of this by ACT Attorney Generals) S 3 & 4 PID ACT 1994 (conduct of a public official, a former public official or a government agency that amounts to a breach of public trust; Corrupt conduct includes: “public wastage” which means conduct by a public official that amounts to negligent, incompetent or inefficient management within, or of, a government agency resulting, or likely to result, directly or indirectly, in a substantial waste of public funds, other than conduct necessary to give effect to a Territory law. S3 PID Act 1994
2- There is widespread evidence of the accommodation of Child abuse in the ACT and the intentional and or inadvertent doctoring of statistics. See definition in 1 above;
3- Serious breaches of Occupational Health and Safety by ACT Government and or its agencies, effectively ignored by ACT Workcover ( which as there own commissioner conceded this may pervert the course of justice), cover up, lies, discrimination and deceit by persons in positions of power. The use of Comcare to escape accountability for these “crimes’ (please see the old OHS ACT1989, which was repealed by the Stanhope Government days before the last election for political advantage (my political opinion).
Please do not be a Mushroom this is not a matter of comparing one bad country with another. As Justice Kirby stated to me at an Amnesty International function at Parliament House Canberra – “the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

We need stronger protections for whistleblowers in the ACT and for the first time Federal Protections and in all Australian states and Territories and a national public interest advocacy centre to help expose corruption and protect the brave Australian who have the backbone to speak out for our benefit. In the USA these brave people are looked upon as heroes and rewarded. What happened to Australias belief in a fair go and mateship?

Call on the ACT Greens ( see there governance policy which they have not complied with) to work with the Liberals to amend our current Public Interest disclosure ACT 1994, to ensure best practice. I believe the Gallagher Labor Government and the unions will not want this to happen. Hopefully this response shows people there are being deceived.

As Edmund Burke stated:
All it needs for evil to flourish is for people of good will to do nothing.
Source: http://www.whistleblowers.org.au/

PantsMan 11:59 am 21 Aug 11

whitelaughter said :

I spent 6 years working in ACT Admin. I voted corrupt.

Ahhhh, the memories.
* Cabinet submissions that said: “We like these people (usually Labor Clubs), lets give them some free land.” Public benefit analysis anyone?
* Confidential taxpayer information (like how much tax was paid last year by each ACT club) provided to Cabinet so that they could pick tax schedules that would not hit Labor Clubs. Is that unlawful given the privacy provisions in the tax laws? Who knows, and more importantly, why are you asking!
* Rampant bulling and harassment.
* Senior staff who say: “We get a new Chief Executive every couple of years. We just run dead on anything they try to do until they give up and leave. That’s how we force them out and stay in control.”
* Very interesting accounting treatments. What’s $60 million per annum?
* People with Phds being ‘moved aside’ in favour of people who did not finish high school (and who are therefore quite unlikely to ask any meaningful questions), then given nothing to do until they leave.
* Statutory compliance optional.
The list goes on and on…

miz 9:32 am 21 Aug 11

There have been clear signs of corruption for some years wherever the govt and developers interact.

Eg, the power station in Tuggers. I’m sure lots of (predominantly northside) people are sick of that whole issue (seeing it did not directly affect them) but that land was flogged off at a bargain price and the rest of the process was very dodgy and untransparent. It smelled, very, very badly.

Similarly, the crematorium (no one minds the idea of a cemetery, per se, but there is no need for another crem – the whole shebang is all about having a crematorium the government can ‘manage’, as opposed to the private one in Mitchell). Money, money, money. What’s that saying, ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’?

whitelaughter 1:06 am 21 Aug 11

I spent 6 years working in ACT Admin. I voted corrupt.

Henry82 11:26 pm 20 Aug 11

I’d say extremely inefficient, with little corruption.

There are certain areas i am aware of that have severe over-employment. Imho you could half the workforce in the public sector and still get the same amount of work done. inb4 someone argues that all APS workers are hard working.

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