What did these amendments do?
Regarding amendments (1) to (4), Senator Pocock explained that:
These amendments make clear that pork-barrelling is corruption. We've seen concerns in communities across the country with the way that public funds have been allocated for political gain. This makes it clear that that can be investigated. I'm also concerned that this bill falls short when it comes to conduct by third parties that could impair public confidence in public administration—in particular, practices of collusive tendering, dishonestly obtaining benefit from public funding decisions and defrauding public revenue. This makes it clear that those are included.
Regarding amendments (5) and (6), he explained:
This amendment will require the minister to table a statement of reasons if they deviate from the recommendations of the NACC joint select oversight committee in relation to the budget. This does not bind the government to giving them that money; it simply provides an extra piece of transparency so that Australians know if we are short-changing the body that is going to be tasked with holding people in these places, public servants and others, who are using valuable Australian resources that should be spent in the best interests of Australians, to account.
(1) Clause 8, page 15 (line 20), at the end of subclause (1), add:
; (e) any conduct of a public official that involves the allocation of public funds or other resources to targeted electors for partisan political purposes.
(2) Clause 8, page 15 (after line 20), after subclause (1), insert:
(1A) Corrupt conduct is also any conduct of any person (whether or not a public official) that impairs, or that could impair, public confidence in public administration and which could involve any of the following matters:
(a) collusive tendering;
(b) fraud in relation to applications for licences, permits or other authorities under legislation designed to protect health and safety or the environment or designed to facilitate the management and commercial exploitation of resources;
(c) dishonestly obtaining or assisting in obtaining, or dishonestly benefiting from, the payment or application of public funds for private advantage or the disposition of public assets for private advantage;
(d) defrauding the public revenue;
(e) fraudulently obtaining or retaining employment or appointment as a public official.
(3) Clause 8, page 15 (line 21), omit "does not", substitute "and subsection (1A) do not".
(4) Clause 8, page 16 (line 15), after "paragraph (1)(a)", insert "or subsection (1A)".
(5) Clause 177, page 148 (line 19), before "to review", insert "at least once every 12 months,".
(6) Clause 177, page 148 (after line 30), after subclause (2), insert:
(a) in a report mentioned in paragraph (1)(g), the Committee makes a recommendation in relation to the NACC's finances and resources; and
(b) the Minister decides not to follow the recommendation;
(c) the Minister must prepare a written statement of reasons for the decision not to follow the recommendation; and
(d) the Minister must cause a copy of the statement of reasons to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sittings days of that House after making the decision.
Date and time: 5:26 PM on 2022-11-29
Senator Pocock's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 16
Total number of "no" votes: 30
Total number of abstentions: 30
Related bill: National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022
Adapted from information made available by theyvoteforyou.org.au