The NSW government has announced a new set of integrity measures designed to build trust in the government and public service after a series of damning reports.
The reforms come after an investigation into the appointment of former Nationals leader John Barilaro to a senior trade role, which found the recruitment process had brought the public service into disrepute, and separate reports by the ICAC.
The new measures announced last week include:
- requiring all MPs to making ongoing disclosures of their interests in trusts, as well as the interests of family members
- requiring MPs to publicly disclose conflicts of interest
- bringing parliamentary secretaries under the ministerial code of conduct
Premier Dominic Perrottet says the Ministerial Code of Conduct will also be amended to clarify requirements for all ministers to always act in the public interest and not act dishonestly or improperly for the benefit of themselves or others.
In July, the ICAC found former state MP John Sidoti had misused his position and engaged in serious corrupt conduct by trying to influence councillors at City of Canada Bay and made 15 recommendations to reduce the risk of corruption by MPS, including three directed at the government.
Meanwhile, ICAC’s Operation Jersey into pork barrelling in August recommended better regulation of grants programs and led to 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.
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, in line with recommendations of the Head Review, Mr Perrottet said.
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