CCC report highlights importance of conflict of interest training

Australian Greens

Media Release: 21 May 2019

Greens spokesperson for integrity of government Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today noted the importance of conflict of interest training, as well as strong protections for whistle-blowers, following the release of the Corruption and Crime Commission’s latest report regarding the corrupt behaviour of a previous employee of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

The report ‘Serious misconduct in procurement of environmental services,’ details how the employee took advantage of her position by authorising payments to a company she was associated with, for work which had not been carried out. The Commission also opined that the employee engaged in serious misconduct by disclosing confidential documents to that private company.

“The report highlights the obligations public sector employees have, particularly around the management of public money, as well as the particular dangers around perceived and real conflicts of interest, ” said Ms Xamon.

“While the vast majority of public sector employees conduct their work with the utmost integrity and comply with conflict of interest provisions, the Commission’s report demonstrates that this, sadly, is not always the case.

“As the Commission notes, this employee’s behaviour highlights the need for ongoing vigilance and oversight of procurement processes, even when relatively low amounts are involved. It also shows the importance of training around conflicts of interest and the importance of whistleblowing,” said Ms Xamon.

Ms Xamon said that the Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects by John Langoulant, which was tabled in Parliament in 2018, identified ongoing issues with procurement processes, finding “some entities appear to have disregarded good practice wilfully and failed to properly evaluate tenders or offerings from standing arrangements”.

“This latest report shows there is clearly still room for improvement,” said Ms Xamon.

“We still have a long way to go until we have all the necessary protections and policies to be assured that all decisions made by Government and the public service are undertaken with the utmost integrity and transparency. It is clear that this work, which includes reform of political donations legislation, should be an absolute priority.

Alison: 0437 700 555

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