Budget reveals Integrity Commission off table

Australia Institute

Background:

  • The Commonwealth Integrity Commission staffing changes from 76 in last year’s October Budget down to zero in this year’s Budget reveal that it is not expected before the election.
  • However, note that the Gov hasn’t erased all mention of the integrity commission. They do say it will be legislated, and ACLEI does receive some additional staff and funding this year in preparation for it eventually becoming one division of the CIC.

October 2020 Budget

May 2021 Budget

[ Note: The (a) after Commonwealth Integrity Commission is a footnote: “The Government has committed to establish the Commonwealth Integrity Commission, though legislation to establish the entity has not yet passed the Parliament” ]

“After numerous promises that a federal integrity commission is coming, it is disappointing to see the Government try and pull a fast one via a line item in the Budget papers,” said Bill Browne, senior researcher at the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“Clearly something has changed between last October when Budget papers revealed 76 CIC staff expected in the coming year, with the Budget yesterday revising that figure down to zero.

“The Government has shown its hand, that it is not interested in tackling federal corruption and integrity matters before the next election.

“Australia Institute research shows 80% of Australians want a robust federal integrity commission. A genuine federal integrity commission with teeth will help prevent a further erosion of trust in our democracy. Crucially, an anti-corruption watchdog helps safeguard our democracy by giving the community confidence that the majority are doing the right thing.”

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