Recent commentary on the rules governing politicians’ declaration of financial interests has highlighted the ease with which they are circumvented and the laxity with which they are enforced.
Senator Cory Bernardi was recently caught up in a dispute over whether he had correctly disclosed a A$1 million commercial property he owns in South Australia. He denies any wrongdoing and says he complied with the rules.
There are differences between the regimes governing politicians and directors of public companies; the former relate to assets whereas the latter govern transactions. But they both serve the same end – ensuring transparency and reducing the risk of conflicts of interest.
Why, then, are the rules so lax for politicians?
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