12th October 2021
Misconduct in public office is broadly defined. It can be any conduct by a public sector employee which is unlawful or fails to meet the ethical or professional standards required in the performance of duties or the exercise of powers entrusted to them.
Misconduct generally occurs when a public officer abuses authority for personal gain, causes detriment to another person or acts contrary to the public interest.
Following the notorious “Red Shirts Rort” heavily criticised by the Ombudsman where Labor paid back $388.000.00 of money rorted from the public purse, and where no criminal charges were brought, we are now faced with another major Labor scandal involving Branch Stacking.
Counsel assisting IBAC, Chris Carr SC, told the current inquiry there was evidence of systematic rorting of taxpayer resources in the Labor Party, and Branch stacking which strikes at the very heart of our democratic system of government.
Carr’s direct quote: “One would not have expected that the misuse of public officers for political purposes would have continued after the Ombudsman’s report was published in March 2018, “he told the inquiry.”
Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne told the inquiry his staff were performing factional work during the day, while they were being paid by the taxpayer.
A claim that this is not unlawful fails any test. Clearly those engaged are prima facie guilty of misconduct in public office under the definition set out above.
Are those responsible for this rort to be again excused? Surely time to put those responsible before a court of law. Or are politicians a protected species to whom the law does not apply?
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. demands that no, “Get out of jail free” card be played in this matter and that prosecutions be brought against those involved in the public interest.