BENEDICT BARTL is Solicitor and Liaison Officer at Tenants’ Union of Tasmania. NOELLE RATTRAY is Solicitor in Tasmania.
Integrity Commissioner lacks investigative powers
The Tasmanian government is not proposing to bring forward a proposed review of its anti-corruption watchdog, the Integrity Commission, despite recent comments by the acting chief executive that the Commission lacks sufficient power to investigate claims of serious misconduct. Despite the Integrity Commission Act 2009 (Tas) granting the Commission powers to ask questions and demand information, the Act also provides protection against self-incrimination. Or in the words of the acting chief executive Russell Pearce ‘[a]ny investigation… would be at real risk of being frustrated by the inability of the commission to compel answers, and would be unlikely therefore to achieve a definitive outcome’ adding that ‘such a basic coercive power is vested in all similar agencies in other Australian jurisdictions’. A review of the Commission is scheduled to take place next year.
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