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Governance Institute welcomes first Commissioner of new National Anti-Corruption Commission

The House of Representatives inside Australia Parliament House.

Governance Institute of Australia welcomes the announcement of key appointments to the inaugural National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The new body will be headed up by Justice Paul Brereton, who has most recently served on the NSW Court of Appeal and who led an inquiry into allegations of war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Deputy Commissioners are AUSTRAC CEO Ms Nicole Rose, PSM and Dr Ben Gauntlett, who has extensive leadership experience as Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. NSW ICAC Inspector Gail Furness SC will be Inspector of the federal body.

Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto says the independent, merit-based selection process demonstrated a good start towards bringing greater transparency and integrity to Federal politics.

‘Governance Institute members advocated strongly together with other key stakeholders to ensure a good governance framework in the new anti-corruption watchdog that will hold public officials to account,’ Ms Motto said.

‘We wish all the best to Commissioner Brereton and the leadership group as they begin the important task of establishing the NACC and setting it up for future success.’

While Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said it is up to the new Commissioner to decide how he will exercise his discretion to hold public hearings, Ms Motto once again called for the use of public hearings as a crucial tool in exposing corruption.

‘We’re concerned restraints on the Commission’s abilities to hold public hearings only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ will cause delays and limit public knowledge of corrupt behaviour.’

‘We hope Commissioner Brereton will ensure that the NACC delivers on its commitment to return integrity, honesty, transparency and accountability to federal politics.’

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