Australiaâ€™s further fall on Transparency Internationalâ€™s Corruption Perceptions Index should stimulate all governments and informed citizens to get behind solutions to the nationâ€™s â€˜integrity crisisâ€™, according to one of the nationâ€™s leading experts, Griffith Universityâ€™s Professor A J Brown.
â€œWith federal leaders finally seriously debating what kind of national anti-corruption agency might help strengthen public accountability, it is time for Australians to get involved in helping identify the options for what should be done,â€ Professor Brown said.
Professor Brown is leading the Australian Research Council funded project, â€˜Strengthening Australiaâ€™s National Integrity Systemâ€™, supported by Transparency International Australia and accountability agencies from around Australia.
The project today opens a call for public and expert participation in the assessment, which will take place over the next six months. Any interested or experienced person can register to get involved here.
Since 2012, Australia has slid from a score of 85 (8th position worldwide) to a new low of 77 (13th position) in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index results, released globally today.
Three weeks ago, federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten announced a Labor Government would create a national integrity commission in response to Australiaâ€™s falling performance.
In September, the Senate Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission called on all parties to heed the National Integrity System Assessment as the key guide to the answers.
The Assessment is a unique, international approach, examining the strengths, weaknesses and gaps in all existing integrity institutions, from anti-corruption agencies and Ombudsmen to Electoral Commissioners, whistleblower protection and the like.
â€œNow is the time for people to get seriously involved, and help identify what such a new national anti-corruption body would look like, and what else needs to be done to restore public faith in our leaders and government,â€ Professor Brown said.
Details can be found here.
Professor Brown is program leader, public integrity & anti-corruption in Griffith Universityâ€™s Centre for Governance and Public Policy, and also a board member of Transparency International.