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ACT police won’t be subject to Integrity Commission, says PM

Ian Bushnell 13 March 2019 17

There is already sufficient oversight of ACT police, the Prime Minister says.

The Morrison Government has blocked the ACT’s bid to provide local and open oversight of police through its soon-to-be-established anti-corruption body.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has written to Chief Minister Andrew Barr, saying that ACT Policing is already subject to sufficient oversight and that separating the local force from the Australian Federal Police for this purpose would be too difficult.

The response has disappointed Mr Barr who said the ACT Integrity Commission should have oversight of the Territory’s own police, as is the case in other jurisdictions.

“It’s disappointing that the current Federal Government is standing in the way of additional integrity measures,” he said.

But the issue would be revisited after the federal election if there is a change of government, with Federal Labor committed to establishing a federal anti-corruption body.

“It depends on the structure of Labor’s federal integrity commission and the ability to share information between it and the ACT’s commission,” Mr Barr said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged to work with the ACT Government on the issue.

Mr Morrison had told Mr Barr that the Government did not support the proposal for the ACT Integrity Commission to have jurisdiction over members of the AFP.

“The AFP is already subject to robust internal and external integrity mechanisms and safeguards, including oversight by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, ACLEI [Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity], the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the ACLEI, and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement. Any delineation between ACT Policing and the broader AFP would be legally and practically problematic.”

But Mr Morrison said the Government remained open to strengthening information sharing with the ACT Integrity Commission on ACT Policing integrity matters, and the Attorney-General’s Department would continue to engage with the ACT Government on this matter.

Mr Morrison also pointed to possible delays to the Integrity Commission acquiring surveillance powers.

“I understand that the ACT Government is also seeking amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) and the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 (Cth) to give the ACT Integrity Commission appropriate access to telecommunications interception and surveillance device powers. I am advised that the Home Affairs portfolio will work with the ACT Government to progress these amendments. However, due to sequencing of legislative amendments, there may be a period where the ACT Integrity Commission does not have access to these powers,” he said.


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17 Responses to ACT police won’t be subject to Integrity Commission, says PM
Arthur Arthur 1:05 am 14 Mar 19

We don’t have a police force here anyway.

Just a whole bunch of kids strolling around window shopping in groups of four dressed up in el-cheapo ill-fitting uniforms and runners fondling their guns like US cops. Dad’s army is an embarrassment.

Plastic police, plastic integrity. Just watch out when they get carried away with excitement in one of their a fast car maneuvers – you could easily become road-kill.

Tony Hanson Tony Hanson 8:33 pm 12 Mar 19

They said the same about the banks lol

Les Eite Les Eite 7:26 pm 12 Mar 19

They get to investigate there own complaints as if that’s not a conflict of interest

Peter Drady Dradrach Peter Drady Dradrach 6:39 pm 12 Mar 19

so its not a flat out no, and what savings does act tax payers get from this?

Helen Stephenson Helen Stephenson 6:38 pm 12 Mar 19

Well the election is coming. Things change.

Matthew Maddigan Matthew Maddigan 6:26 pm 12 Mar 19

Sounds like a good reason to seperate the two branches properly.

Tim Cole Tim Cole 6:22 pm 12 Mar 19

It's a tricky one, ACT Policiing is just a branch of the AFP. We'll need to wait for the Federal ICAC to deal with this.

Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 6:13 pm 12 Mar 19

They need oversight just like all gov body.

Peter Major Peter Major 6:02 pm 12 Mar 19

I agree with Morrison. We only have rent a cop in the ACT

    Simon Miller Simon Miller 7:22 pm 12 Mar 19

    What makes you say that?

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 7:26 pm 12 Mar 19

    Because it's a branch of the AFP. It isn't our own police force. It is provided under a fee for service arrangement by the Feds

    John Colwell John Colwell 7:58 pm 12 Mar 19

    Tim Cole better than Norfolk Island, where we invaded and are charging them for the privilege.

    Simon Miller Simon Miller 7:58 pm 12 Mar 19

    Tim Cole and somehow you feel that affects the service you get as an ACT resident?

    Nathan Cooper Nathan Cooper 3:18 am 13 Mar 19

    Simon Miller that's not what I'm taking from what Tim Cole is saying, he simply stated the fact.

    When ACT has its own actual police force, then perhaps ACT can dictate what oversight it has.

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