Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Who will guard Peter Dutton’s guardians?

Peter Dutton’s home affairs ministry will investigate itself for corruption, The Age,  Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker 22 July 17  In his almost four years as Justice Minister, Michael Keenan has not once requested that the commission hold public hearings to examine corruption – a move guaranteeing the agency’s virtually non-existent public profile.

Fairfax Media is aware of several major investigations under way into the integrity of people or operations within agencies set to form part of Mr Dutton’s new super-ministry. These investigations are being conducted behind closed doors by the integrity commission and the federal police.

The creation of Home Affairs means that the Australian Federal Police will now come under the same departmental umbrella as the people and agencies they are investigating in partnership with the integrity commission.

 Experts warn the arrangement risks putting such integrity probes even further out of the public eye.

“Institutionally it is a weakness. The arrangements should be such that this is not an option,” says Australian National University security expert John Blaxland.  Professor Blaxland has been critical of the proposed Home Affairs ministry because it may reduce the “high degree of healthy contestability” between agencies, which sees the AFP eager to scrutinise Border Force, and vice versa, when necessary. This is disputed by senior officials.

What is incontestable is that since its inception in 2006, the integrity commission has not held a single public hearing into any of the agencies it oversees: the AFP, the Criminal Intelligence Commission, Border Force and the Immigration Department.

Due to a lack of resources, Australia’s least-known corruption fighting body relies on one of the agencies it oversees, the AFP, to actually carry out its major investigations.  …….http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/peter-duttons-home-affairs-ministry-will-investigate-itself-for-corruption-20170721-gxfwov.html

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July 22, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties

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