The Queensland Integrity Commissioner's 2013 - 2014 Annual Report has been tabled in Parliament and is now available for viewing under 'Publications' on this website.
The Acting Integrity Commissioner, Dr. David Solomon, has completed a paper titled 'Ministerial access & the public trust', which is available electronically in the 'Publications' section of this website, or through the above link.
The Premier has announced that the new Queensland Integrity Commissioner will be Mr Richard Bingham. Mr Bingham will take up the position on 1 July 2014 after Dr David Solomon retires on 30 June.
Mr Bingham brings a wealth of experience to the role, having served as South Australia's State Ombudsman for the past five years and before that as the Chairman of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission and Secretary of the Tasmanian Department of Justice.
The Integrity Commissioner delivered a paper titled Nepotism, patronage and the public trust to the T.J. Ryan Foundation on Thursday, 27 February 2014 at the Queensland University of Technology. The paper is available electronically in the 'Publications' section of this website, or through the link above.
A minor amendment has been made to the way the current and previous client listings are now displayed on lobbying entities' details on the register. From 29 October 2013, a new field will allow people to see the date a new client is added to an entity's profile, and another new field will give the date when the status of a client is changed from ‘current’ to ‘previous’.
We are unable to add retrospective dates to already existing clients, as this would require extensive hands-on work that is beyond the office's person power, but more and more information will build up over time as lobbyist/client relationships change.
Three minor amendments have been made to the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, effective 12 September 2013.
These changes are unlikely to affect more than a very few lobbyists.
The first two changes clarify the intent of amendments made with effect from 1 May 2013. The third gives effect to a change in nomenclature that occurred following the election of the current government.
1. The first amendment amends the second paragraph of s 4 of the Code so that the paragraph now reads:
Lobbyists must file directly onto the Integrity Commissioner's website, no later than 15 days after the end of every month, information for a register of lobbyists' contact with government and opposition representatives, reporting on each and every lobbying contact by them, during that month, with a government or opposition representative.
2. The second amendment amends (e) in the next paragraph so that (e) now reads:
the title and/or name of the government or opposition representatives present (identifying the Minister/Department/agency or, in the case of a Member of Parliament, his or her name).
3. The third amendment changes the definition of "government representative" in s 5 to read:
"Government representative" means the Premier or another Minister, an Assistant Minister, a councillor, a public sector officer, a ministerial staff member or an Assistant Minister staff member (s 44). ["Public sector officer " is defined below.]
You will receive a reminder
Some of those registered lobbyists in contact with the Integrity Commissioner's office recently have mentioned they would like the office to remind them of the contact log deadline for completing the return for the previous month. Therefore, on the 15th of each month, the office will send you a 'reminder' email to remind you to complete your return (if any) for the previous month. The subject line will say something like "July contact log entry due today", so you need not actually open the email.
No need to give a nil return
In an effort to reduce red tape, the Integrity Commissioner has decided lobbyists need not submit a nil return to the office if no lobbying activity has taken place. Instead, no contact log entries will be assumed to form a nil return.
Remember, however, that failure to submit an entry in the contact log when there has been contact with a Government or Opposition representative may be seen as non-compliance with the Act or the Code.
The Integrity Commissioner delivered a paper titled 'Ethics, government and lobbying' at a seminar conducted br Transparency International in Brisbane on 21 June 2013. The paper can be read on the Integrity Commissioner's website at http://www.integrity.qld.gov.au/page/publications/speeches-articles.shtml.
In December 2012, the Right to Information and Integrity (Openness and Transparency) Amendment Act 2012 amended section 68 of the Integrity Act 2009 to state that the Lobbyists Code of Conduct could impose obligations on lobbyists to give the Integrity Commissioner information about lobbying activities carried out by them. On 1 May 2013, the original Lobbyists Code of Conduct was withdrawn and a new code issued. The new code includes a requirement for lobbyists to notify their contacts with government and opposition representatives.
Registered lobbying entities can enter details of their lobbying contacts by logging into their online account. Detailed instructions on how to enter your information have been added to the appropriate section of the User Manual, which can be accessed via this link.
The following lobbyists joined or withdrew from the Register of Lobbyists during September 2014
New entity registrations:
- Tony Charters and Associates
- Raymond Design
- Community One
- Paul John Clauson (Sole Trader)
New lobbyist registrations:
- Anthony Charters - Tony Charters and Associates
- Bernard Murray - Promedia Public Relations
- Jody Fassina - Statecraft
- Cameron Raymond - Raymond Design
- Maxine Norsgaard - Community One
- Paul Lcauson - Paul John Clauson (Sole Trader)