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The Queensland Integrity Commissioner has two distinct roles, providing advice to designated persons and maintaining the Queensland Register of Lobbyists. The integrity Commissioner does not provide legal advice.

Advice

People who are ‘designated’ under the Act and able to ask for advice from the Commissioner are:

  • Ministers
  • Parliamentary Secretaries
  • all MPs
  • statutory officers
  • chief executives
  • senior executives
  • senior officers in government entities
  • other officers who have been nominated.

Until the Integrity Act 2009 came into force, they could only ask for advice about conflict of interest issues. They may now ask for advice about any ethics or integrity issue, including a conflict of interest issue.

Under the Integrity Act 2009, an ethics or integrity issue is an issue concerning ethics or integrity and includes a conflict of interest issue.

The interest could be that they or their friends or relatives may benefit from a decision if it is made in a particular way. The interest may conflict with the public interest.

Public officials who have such an interest in a matter should declare their interest and remove themselves from the decision making process.

The whole process is confidential. The Right to Information Act 2009 does not apply to the integrity functions of the Integrity Commissioner. However, the person who has sought the advice may disclose it if they wish.

The Integrity Commissioner may also meet with and give advice to MPs on ethics and integrity issues in relation to their declarations of interests. In addition, he contributes to public awareness of public integrity standards.

The Integrity Commissioner only provides advice in written form and may not make public the name of a designated person who has sought advice or the advice that was given. However the person who has been given advice may disclose it to anyone, and make it public.

Register of Lobbyists

The Commissioner’s second responsibility is to administer the lobbyists register and monitor the interaction of lobbyists and government and local government.

The Act provides under various circumstances the Commissioner may refuse to register a lobbyist or may remove a lobbyist from the register. The consequence of not being on the register is that the lobbyist may not have contact with a government or local government representative for the purpose of lobbying.

Former senior government representatives must not lobby in an area in which they have had official dealings as a government representative in the two years before they leave a government position.

This requirement applies for two years after they leave their government position. A further requirement is that they must advise the government representatives with whom they meet of the restrictions on their activities.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
3 May, 2016

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