Tough new public sector integrity measures

Published: 2 Feb 2019

Released by: The Premier

Corrupt politicians will have nowhere left to hide under tough new measures designed to deliver even greater accountability and transparency to NSW politics.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced that the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will:

  • Establish a specialist Public Sector Prosecutions unit within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, focused on:
    • confiscation orders to freeze and seize the assets of public officials, including politicians, who break the law, under ‘proceeds of crime’ legislation; and
    • expediting complex criminal prosecutions, which relate to the offence of ‘misconduct in public office’, including prosecutions arising from ICAC investigations, as well as other public sector integrity matters.
  • Extend the requirements for the publication of diary and overseas travel information to all Members of Parliament.
  • Require any third party lobbyist representing a foreign state or controlled entity to disclose those links on the publicly available Lobbyist Register, or risk being blacklisted from meetings with government officials.

“I have absolutely no tolerance for corruption,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“These tough new measures will help ensure that Members of Parliament never forget that they have been elected by the community, and always remain accountable to the community.”

The new measures announced today will increase accountability and transparency in NSW politics, and help to eliminate risks of improper foreign influence, by ensuring that the NSW community, and their decision-makers, have proper visibility in relation to who may be seeking to influence NSW's political processes and public debates.

“The NSW community has a right to know who their politicians are meeting with, and why,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“These tough new measures will raise the standards expected of politicians, and those who seek to influence them – and help rebuild trust in NSW politics.”

The new measures announced today build on a suite of reforms introduced by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to clean up NSW politics, including:

  • Diary disclosure requirements and reforms to strengthen the regulation of lobbying.
  • Reforms to strengthen and fully fund the ICAC, with record funding of $27 million in the 2018/19 Budget – up from $19.8 million in Labor’s last budget.
  • A new Ministerial Code of Conduct, which requires Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries to uphold high standards of ethical behaviour and perform their duties with honesty and integrity.
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