‘Australian first’ for government integrity

By Staff Writer

Queensland will be home to Australia’s first full-time integrity commissioner under new laws coming into effect from January 2010.

Premier Anna Bligh has announced that Queensland’s Integrity Commissioner, Dr David Solomon, will have an expanded role under the new changes.

“The Integrity Commissioner will have a range of new responsibilities which include overseeing the new Lobbyists register and giving MPs from any political party advice about avoiding potential conflicts of interest,” Ms Bligh said.

“Everyone in public office is expected and required to uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability.”

From January 1, the Commissioner will be responsible for overseeing the register of lobbyists; advising MPs about potential conflicts of interest or pecuniary interests; reporting on chief executives’ compliance with their obligation to provide annual statements of interest to their responsible minister; and raising awareness of ethics and integrity issues.

The register of lobbyists provisions will apply to local governments.

In an Australian first, success fees will also be banned.

“This is about providing Queenslanders with the most open and accountable system of Government possible,” Ms Bligh said.

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