Victoria’s integrity agencies: Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office and the Victorian Ombudsman, have come together to present an evidence-based paper outlining the need for greater budgetary independence. The intention is to remove the politics from the debate, so that governments of whatever stripe cannot be accused, fairly or otherwise, of interfering with the independence of those agencies whose job it is to hold them to account.
The current process of having the government of the day rather than the Parliament decide the funding of Victoria’s integrity agencies has been a hot topic for many years; in the last year it has grown even hotter.
Their joint paper sets out a case to further strengthen the perceived and actual independence of these three officers of Parliament.
The key recommendation is that consideration of their funding be the responsibility of a new independent statutory commission/tribunal, similar to the current Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal. All evidence, reasoning and recommendations to the Treasurer would be tabled in Parliament to promote full transparency.