9 January 2014

About half of the presentations delivered at the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC) in Sydney in late November are now published on the APSACC website.

Last year’s biennial conference was the fourth with APSACC becoming established as a leading forum for the promotion of anti-corruption strategies. The scale of the conference has increased with more than 60 sessions – many concurrent – run over two days of the conference. Speakers included Dr Peter Eigen, a co – founder of Transparency International, whose keynote address emphasised the role of civil society organisations in the control of corruption, and doing so by working closely with governments and business. However that contribution, and a number of others by international expertise like Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn, who has headed the New York City Department of Investigation for more than ten years, are not yet published on the website.

Material that is available reflects the range of conference topics, including case studies on corruption, investigations, fraud prevention, and controls on lobbying, tendering and secret commissions. The New Zealand contribution was a Serious Fraud Office presentation on supporting whistleblowers – somewhat ironical when from a public sector perspective the Protected Disclosures Act is intended to obviate the need for the spectacular form of whistleblowing encouraged by enforcement agencies in places like the United States and Britain.

APSACC seems to provide neutral ground, where many in Australia’s Commonwealth and State governments with responsibility for probity and transparency can engage not only with like-minds but with the organisations they regulate. Nevertheless the sponsors are government agencies in the main, including the various anti corruption, integrity, crime and misconduct commissions. There is not much of a funding taint from commercial interests.