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TasTAFE Investigation Highlights Need for Crime of Misconduct in Public Office

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tags: TasTAFE, Integrity Commission, Transparency, Misconduct in Public Office, Education

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Education spokesperson

The investigation into TasTAFE has highlighted the need for there to be a crime of misconduct in public office on the Tasmanian statutes. This was one of the key recommendations of former Chief Commissioner of the Integrity Commission, Murray Kellam QC.

Without going to the specifics of the TasTafe investigation, including the crime of misconduct in public office in the Criminal Code would bring Tasmania in line with other States.

There would be legal consequences for serious offences, and it would send a strong message to the public service about appropriate and inappropriate conduct.  

Tasmania is the only State in Australia without this crime on its statutes. 

Tasmanians need to have trust in their public institutions, and that their governance, transparency and accountability mechanisms are strong.  The community is entitled to expect public funds will be used wisely, transparently and in the public interest. 

In 2015, the Greens introduced an amendment Bill to State Parliament which would have made misconduct in public office a crime in Tasmania, but it was not supported by either Labor or the Liberals.

We will be reintroducing our misconduct in public office amendment bill after the State election, in the new Parliament.  We hope, in the interests of transparency and accountability, Labor and the Liberals will see the need for such legislation and support it.