NSW ICAC will hold a live-streamed forum this Friday “to examine the practice of pork barrelling, including whether it is lawful and ethical, and whether it could constitute corrupt conduct under the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.” I suppose it is better late than never, but why has it taken them so long?
It raises a lot of questions:
- Are they going to investigate any politicians for previous pork barrelling such as confessed pork barrellers former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro?
- Will confessed pork barrellers such as former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who are currently under investigation by NSW ICAC for other matters, be able to walk free regarding their pork barrelling?
- Why has it taken the NSW ICAC so long to look at pork barrelling?
- Was the decision by NSW ICAC to look at pork barrelling influenced the impending introduction of a Federal ICAC?
- Will the NSW ICAC’s findings on pork barrelling have any impact on the Federal ICAC and other states ICAC’s?
- Pork barrelling is blatantly corrupt as it is using taxpayers’ money to buy votes as discussed in the below video. So why does the NSW ICAC need a forum on Friday (2/6/22) to discuss if pork barrelling is corrupt or not?
The NSW ICAC press release is below:
Tuesday 31 May 2022
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a forum on Friday 3 June 2022 to examine the practice of pork barrelling, including whether it is lawful and ethical, and whether it could constitute corrupt conduct under the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.
The forum, to be hosted by Chief Commissioner the Hon Peter Hall QC, will discuss whether:
- the practice of pork barrelling is lawful or unlawful, and whether it is ethical
- the conduct associated with the practice of pork barrelling could constitute corrupt conduct under the provisions of the ICAC Act
- ministerial discretionary power in relation to grant funding is at large, or whether it is subject to constraints and conditions by operation of the Rule of Law and, if so, the circumstances in which constraints or conditions exist or operate.
In relation to the third point above, the panel will also canvass whether regulation of grant funding programs by statutory instrument is necessary to ensure, in the public interest, that public monies are only expended for public purposes, and the safeguards that are necessary in the public interest to prevent breaches of public trust arising in the course of such programs.
The panel will be moderated by prominent journalist and author Kerry O’Brien and, in addition to Chief Commissioner Hall, will comprise subject matter experts including:
- Professor Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law and Director, Constitutional Reform Unit, University of Sydney
- the Hon Joseph Campbell, Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney and former judge of the NSW Court of Appeal
- Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Director of the Ethics Centre and Adjunct Professor of the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of NSW
- NSW Deputy Auditor-General Ian Goodwin
- Professor AJ Brown, leader of the Centre for Governance & Public Policy’s public integrity and anti-corruption research program, and professor of public policy and law in the School of Government & International Relations, Griffith University.
As the Commission is ultimately accountable to the NSW Parliament, the forum will be held at a room in Parliament House, commencing at 10.00 am, and will run for approximately three hours. It will be live-streamed and will be accessible from the Commission’s website at www.icac.nsw.gov.au.
Following the forum, the ICAC will prepare and issue a report setting out its views on pork barrelling, including whether and how it relates to corrupt conduct, in due course. Transcript and video of the forum discussion are also intended to be made available.
End of the media release (Click here to see on the ICAC website)
The most important element is not the forum itself but the report the NSW ICAC will issue “setting out its views on pork barrelling, including whether and how it relates to corrupt conduct.” Given there is no time frame for releasing the report it could be a few months or 12 months or more before we see it. I’ll follow up when the report is released.
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