David Bartlett's 'Strengthening trust in democracy' plan

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In May 2008 the Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett announced that he would implement a plan to "strengthen trust in democracy and political processes in Tasmania" following controversy over the government's handling of the Gunns pulp mill proposal.[1]

Bartlett's "Ten Point Plan"

In his "Ten Point Plan", Bartlett stated that his government would institute[2]:

  • "1. A review of the Freedom of Information Act - with a view to, if necessary, improve access to information as well as the administration of the act."
  • "2. Protection for Whistleblowers - by reviewing the Public Interest Disclosures Act for improvements in the form of amendments."
  • "3. Approved Protocols and Rules for Judicial appointments - to be released soon by the Attorney General. These new protocols have been subject to scrutiny by the profession and other stakeholders, including the opposition parties."
  • "4. Improvements in Governance and Accountability in GBE's and Financial Management Frameworks - a review to ensure best practice governance framework has been undertaken. Recommendations to be adopted include strengthening and more clearly defining the selection and appointment of directors."
  • "5. A register of Lobbyists - those seeking to register will be required to adhere to a lobbyists code of conduct. There will also be specific rules relating to former members of parliament."
  • "6. Codes of conduct for members and ministers - a new code of conduct for all members of the Parliament and a strengthened code of conduct for ministers." (See Tasmanian Lobbying Code of Conduct.)
  • "7. A code of conduct for ministerial and parliamentary staff."
  • "8. Training, advice and induction - for all members, ministers and staff to ensure a very high ethical standard is maintained."
  • "9. A review of resourcing - the offices of the Auditor General, the Ombudsman and Director of Public Prosecution will be subject a review of resources. This is to ensure they have adequate resources to carry out duties with diligence and the appropriate level of accountability."
  • "10. A recommendation to clarify the Police Act and create a separate investigation power - there needs to be clarification on the relationship between the Commissioner of Police, the Premier and Minister of Police, as well as the ability of ministers to direct, or not direct, the Commissioner in relation to investigations."[2]

Bartlett also stated "the Government will also be asking the Joint Select Committee to consider the establishment of a Police Integrity Office. We strongly believe that there should be a body with investigative powers in Tasmania separate from our police force and this is why our submission to the Joint Select committee clearly recommends these powers in the development of an Ethics Commission for Tasmania. "I plan to implement all of these initiatives and to respond to the various reviews in the next year. "I am determined to significantly change the culture of government and of government processes. "We must and will get this right."[2]

In May 2009 Bartlett, in a media release marking the end of his first year as Premier, stated that the 'Strengthening trust in democracy' plan "includes a review of the FoI Act, Protection for Whistleblowers, A register of Lobbyists and a whole range of other initiatives to ensure accountability and the best possible decision making processes."[3]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. David Bartlett, "Strengthening trust in democracy", May 26, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 David Bartlett, "Ten Point Plan to Strengthen Trust", Media Release, August 19, 2008.
  3. David Bartlett, "Progressive Labor versus Liberals $3 billion black hole", Media Release, May 26, 2009.

External resources

External articles