Corruption watchdog zeroes in on next target

 

The head of the Crime and Corruption Commission, Alan MacSporran, says he's got lobbyists in his sights.

The man credited with cracking down on the state's local government sector and legal fraternity yesterday flagged a "project" aimed at lobbyists, reiterating to a Budget Estimates committee that he plans to closely monitor the work they do.

And as questions continued to be asked about the ­State Labor Government's use of personal email accounts, Mr MacSporran also revealed there were fewer than 20 emails involving Ms Palaszczuk's private account.

The CCC chairman said yesterday the watchdog was concerned about what the arrangements for lobbyists were and whether the safeguards were sufficient.

CCC chair Alan MacSporran
CCC chair Alan MacSporran

Mr MacSporran, who said he was encouraged by Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov's request for a review into the state's lobbying provisions, said the watchdog would be doing more work in the area.

"We have not yet started that project, other than to send out the missives I have, which are fairly generic and self-explanatory," he said.

"It is an area of concern that we propose to monitor very closely and do some more work in, yes."

The CCC recommended sweeping reforms in 2017 to address integrity and corruption risks in local government - including banning developer donations, which the Government has introduced.

Lobbying has been a topic of controversy in recent weeks as the LNP grills the government during this year's Estimates hearings.

It's been revealed former ALP state secretaries Cameron Milner and Evan Moorhead, both lobbyists, worked on Labor's election campaign strategy.

Mr Milner worked out of the Government's headquarters in Brisbane and used a visitor car park, however the Premier said he wasn't there every day.

In October, Mr MacSporran warned that the lines between government and the private sector were blurring, "with overlapping networks of association involving consultants, influencers, lobbyists and executives".

He then last week warned senior politicians and bureaucrats of the temptations they faced when dealing with lobbyists, political donors and consultants and urged them to be to be advocates for integrity and anti-corruption.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli

Meanwhile, Mr MacSporran said yesterday the contents of emails involving Ms Palaszczuk's private account did not "excite" the CCC's interests.

Mr MacSporran did not specify whether any of those emails had been sent by Ms Palaszczuk's stacia1@bigpond.com account, nor did he provide any time frames.

The Premier came under fire last week when it was revealed an email was sent from Minister Mark Bailey's infamous "mangocube" personal account in 2015 to the Premier's private address.

Ms Palaszczuk has refused to say whether she replied to the email discussing the hiring of a former director-general.

A spokeswoman from the Premier's office on Monday said Mr MacSporran had confirmed the emails were examined and of no interest.

"They have been through an RTI (Right to Information) process as well as the State Archivist's process," she said.

Mr MacSporran said the watchdog last week reviewed the work it had done around the "mangocube" saga after the Opposition revealed the email during an Estimates hearing on Monday.

Asked whether there were any emails either sent from stacia1@bigpond.com or received by her private account, Mr MacSporran said it was "less than 20 from memory".

"Many of them, from memory, were on Saturdays or Sundays outside office hours, the content didn't excite our interest otherwise," he said.

Asked whether a reply had been sent to Mr Bailey in 2015 from the Premier's account, Mr MacSporran said he wasn't aware of one.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said he wanted to know whether anyone else had sent emails from private accounts for work purposes.

"If you want people to trust your decision-making process and if you want them to believe in where you're taking them … you've got to conduct yourself with a level of valour and dignity," he said.

 

 

Originally published as Corruption watchdog zeroes in on next target



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