26 October 2011

The media has moved on from its spotlight on the leadership characteristics of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and the rash way he chose to mark agency accomplishments.  Criticism, including that by the Criminal Bar Association and the Police Association has come to nothing following the State Services Commission report  that the Director …”recognises that he has caused embarrassment to his Minister and has expressed his regret and apologised for his actions…” This related to his sharing with staff, a bottle of champagne that had its origins at Bridgecorp, a company currently subject to SFO prosecution.

The situation in Tasmania however continues to rumble.  The resignation of the Director of the Integrity Commission is generating public ire.  Comment by the Chairman of the Commission that there is no systemic corruption in Tasmania has polarised sectors of the community. The outspokenness of some is typified in a Tasmanian Times contributor observing that “My view and experience is that Tasmania’s public sector is marred by incompetence, stupidity, small mindedness; lack of adherence to procedural fairness”, and another that “In Tasmania the fox has always been in charge of the hen house – well, lots of foxes are in charge of all the hen houses.” The suggestion that there is no continuing need for the Integrity Commission after just 12 months in operation concerns many who believe that public sector ethics are usually beneficially served by an effective watchdog.