Image for ‘Public servants getting away with misconduct, corruption, watchdog chief Murray Kellam says’

First published October 5

It is a couple of years since Murray Kellam said this: “Tasmanian public servants are escaping prosecution for misconduct because the Tasmanian Government is complacent, according to the head of the integrity watchdog.”

And, then the ABC continues …

Murray Kellam is stepping down after five years as Tasmania’s inaugural Chief Integrity Commissioner and has taken a parting shot at the Government.

In a statement, he accuses the Government of complacency in tackling corruption, saying its failure to create an “offence of misconduct in public office” has meant public servants who would be prosecuted in other states are getting away with misbehaviour.

He attacked the Government’s budget cuts to the watchdog and what he described as a “manifestly inadequate” legislative framework.

“There appears to be complacency in Government and in the bureaucracy that allegations of corruption of the nature that have recently resulted in prosecutions being commenced in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, after investigations by their integrity bodies, will not occur in Tasmania,” the statement said …

So, what has changed?

Read more, ABC here, August 7, 2015 …

*Lindsay Tuffin has been a journo since 1969, mainly in Tassie apart from a few years elsewhere in Oz, and in Pomland where he had a brief stint as a youth worker and where for five years he edited ‘Buzz’ - a magazine dealing with church and social issues and which was beaten in audit circulation in the Specialist Interest category by Aero Modeller magazine ...!

Mercury: Integrity Commission says current legislation hinders its ability to sanction councillors TASMANIA’S corruption watchdog says current legislation limits its ability to properly assess rogue councillors. The Integrity Commission wants a change to the Local Government Act for code of conduct complaints against councillors, arguing too much influence remains in the hands of council general managers. Chief executive Richard Bingham told the Sunday Tasmanian a section of the Act was impacting the watchdog’s ability to run investigations. “The problem with LGA Section 28V [and associated sections] from the commission’s perspective is that we cannot act as a complainant under Section 28V, and that we cannot refer a matter so as to enliven the code of conduct panel process,” he said