Perrottet Government strengthens integrity safeguards
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet today announced the latest measures in his Government’s significant program of integrity reform to build community trust in government and the public service.
These important reforms respond to the recommendations of three separate investigations conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), as well as the review into public service appointments conducted by Graeme Head AO (Head Review).
The new measures build on the Government’s significant program of integrity reform including electoral reform, integrity agency funding reforms, lobbying and public interest disclosure reforms.
The Government has provided its response to the ICAC’s report on Operation Witney regarding the conduct of the Member for Dummoyne. In its report, the ICAC made 15 recommendations to reduce the risk of corrupt conduct by members of Parliament (MPs).
The Premier has announced the NSW Government’s support for all three recommendations directed to the Government. The Department of Planning and Environment will separately respond to the recommendations directed to it. The remaining recommendations are directed to the NSW Parliament and the City of Canada Bay Council.
Key reforms in response to Operation Witney include:
- Requiring all MPs to disclose interests in trusts, the interests of immediate family members and for MPs to make ongoing disclosures;
- Requiring all MPs to publicly disclose any conflicts of interest; and
- Amendments to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 clarifying that the NSW Ministerial Code of Conduct is a prescribed code of conduct in respect of Parliamentary Secretaries.
Mr Perrottet also announced the Government had responded to the ICAC’s Operation Jersey. The ICAC’s investigation commended the Government on its recent changes to grants administration.
In November 2021, the Premier announced a wide-ranging review of grants administration in NSW to be led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in partnership with the Productivity Commissioner, Mr Peter Achterstraat AM.
In response to that review, significant reforms have been delivered, including the issuing of a new Premier’s Memorandum and revised Good Practice Guide to Grants Administration, which all Ministers, their staff and public officials are legally required to follow.
In addition to the refoms already implemented by the Government via the review of Grants administration, the Government will also adopt other recommendations made in Operation Jersey. Most relevantly, the NSW Ministerial Code of Conduct will be amended to clarify the requirements for all Ministers to act always in the public interest, and not to act dishonestly or improperly for their private benefit or for the private benefit of any other person.
The Government has also introduced legislation to the Parliament to strengthen the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 and uphold an independent and apolitical public service, as recommended by the Head Review.
Read the NSW Government Response to the Operation Jersey report (PDF 235.06KB)