18th November 2018

As Victorians move towards casting their vote the CAA has raised the sceptre of Integrity as the key element that is missing from many of our bureaucratic institutions including the Judiciary the Government, Police, IBAC and any other entity funded by the public purse.

You are funding these functions of Government and they are supposed to be serving you so at the very least you are entitled to have those entities operated and function with Integrity.

If we are inclined to donate to a charitable cause, we are automatically influenced by our perceived or actual knowledge of the integrity of the organisation that is managing the donations for the cause. We would shy away from a charitable endeavour if we suspected that the function of the charity lacked Integrity and so we should, irrespective of the cause.

A government we elect should be no different.

The CAA intends to publicly comment on matters where we identify that Integrity has been compromised and call on the organisation to respond.

If the entity does not respond then we assume the veracity of the breech alleged and we will regularly bring those breeches to the public notice.

A breech of integrity is only a hairs breadth away from corruption and if we want good governance of this state we need to ensure that Integrity is retained at all levels.

We have been disappointed at the lack lustre convoluted and in our view unsatisfactory performance of the various entities and authorities that are supposed to manage these issues. The performance of the current Government is testament to their failure.

They do not focus on what we the community might expect but bury issues in legalese to avoid punitive actions. It is extremely rare for any of these entities to detect lack of Integrity but perform half-baked responses to complaints from the public. They are all reactive and not proactive and their in lies their failure.

Governments that do not focus on what we the community expect and do everything possible to avoid accountability must ultimately expect to be held to account. It is extremely rare for many publicly funded organizations to acknowledge when they have acted with a lack of Integrity, and, when caught out, usually fail to respond adequately to complaints from the public. Being reactive and not proactive lies at the heart of their failure.

Failures of integrity must be pursued without fear or favour and the appropriate watchdog directed to take appropriate action. Independently of Government but reporting back to the Government.

An Integrity Commission can be the, ‘police on the beat’ detecting and identifying Integrity breaches and ensuring corrections.

The focus should be on correcting behaviours or processes and punitive actions reserved only for blatantly unlawful actions.