Government accepts anti-corruption reporting powers review recommendations

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
  • Miles Government supports all 16 recommendations of the Independent Review into the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) reporting on the performance of its corruption functions
  • Legislative amendments to be moved in line with Ms Holmes’ recommendations

The Miles Government will adopt all 16 recommendations outlined by former Chief Justice of Queensland Catherine Holmes in her report into the Crime and Corruption Commission’s reporting functions.

Ms Holmes was appointed to lead a three-month review into the CCC’s ability to publicly report in relation to corruption matters, following the High Court’s decision in Crime and Corruption Commission v Carne.

The report was considered by Cabinet on Monday.

Ms Holmes has recommended a model that will ensure the CCC can issue important public reports and make public statements while at the same time ensuring that important individual rights are protected.

Legislation will be introduced as a matter of priority to empower the CCC to publicly report and make public statements in relation to its corruption investigations, as well as in the performance of its corruption prevention function.

Ms Holmes recommended public reports on individual corruption investigations be allowed where serious corrupt conduct is substantiated by a court, tribunal or disciplinary process.

Additionally, it was recommended elected officials may be the subject of a report even if corruption allegations are not proven, provided the report is purely factual and in the public interest.

It will be a matter for the CCC how it chooses to operationalise the new reporting model which will apply to its previous reports and statements.

Ms Holmes also recommended changes to enhance the CCC’s independence by enabling it to table its reports directly through the Speaker of the Parliament and/or separately publish such reports.

The Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee will retain its power to direct the CCC to table reports.

As stated by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath:

“On behalf of the Queensland Government, I thank Ms Catherine Holmes for the insight, scholarship and professionalism she brought to the Review.

“Ms Holmes has considered all sides of the issue of public reporting and left no stone unturned in delivering a clear and balanced set of recommendations.

“There is a clear public interest in the CCC being able to report on corruption matters. This is vital for the transparency and accountability of our democratic institutions.

“Public reporting cannot occur at the expense of due process and proper regard to individual rights. Respect for these values is equally important.

“As Ms Holmes stated, her recommendations are designed to present ‘a workable regime which balances the considerations of human rights protection and the desirability of public sector transparency and accountability’.

“The Miles Government has supported all of Ms Holmes’ 16 recommendations and will work swiftly to introduce legislative amendments.”

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