Malcolm Adams Traill December 2009
The letter presented below is a slightly edited version of an original sent to the Commissioner. It may appear on the PSSC's website later.
10 Munro Street
EAST KEW, VIC 3102
The Integrity and Anti-corruption System Review
State Services Authority
Public Sector Standards Commissioner (PSSC), Mr Peter Allen
Special Commissioner, Ms Elizabeth Proust
Re: PSSC Review - Submission
1. Preamble. An extract of the advertised terms for the Review is given below :-
". . . to consider whether any reforms are needed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Victoria's integrity and anti-corruption system . . . [including] . . . the Ombudsman, Auditor General, Office of Police Integrity, Victoria Police and . . . [etc.]"
Whilst such a Review is laudable, its value may be put in question by variations that may arise from the the quantity and nature of the matters reaching each particular branch of the "integrity and anti-corruption" organizations, as outlined above.
The "anti-corruption system" (my emphasis) commences when a member of the public lodges a report, complaint or concern at a receiving point on the bureaucracy. The system comprises a pathway from that receiving point to an appropriate conclusion obtained by the appropriate branch of the bureaucracy which, in the case of criminal activity, would normally be expected to involve the courts. A break in this system (as may occur if there is inappropriate handling or misdirection) could, in dealing with criminal matters, be regarded as corruption and an extension of criminal activity.
For the purposes of this submission, I shall limit my concern to those organizations dealing with the collusion between organized crime groups and bureaucrats, as affected me directly - I write from personal experience.
2. Referral selection. After over 20 years knowledge and experience of collusion between organized crime and bureaucrats, in both the Victorian Jurisdiction and the Federal Jurisdiction, I can make the following observations ;
a) No police investigations of the organized crime/bureaucrats' collusion were possible, because the relevant Ministers concerned (or their delegates ) would not allow investigations, (or vetoed them). (Attempts to report and/or refer concerns directly to the police would not be accepted - the referrals had to come via the relevant Ministers.)
b) All Ombudsmen (or equivalents, eg Lay Observer) were worse than useless: all wrote convoluted and prolix "reasons" to explain why they could do nothing useful and, in so doing, condoned the matter at hand and augmented the special protection that the criminal elements enjoyed.
So, in these settings, serious crime issues could not be investigated by the appropriate investigating body - the police. Clearly, if, you examine the police performance alone, without reference to the receiving point and further referral, the Review may miss that the "integrity and anti-corruption system" is fundamentally flawed, because of the failure at the earlier points in the system. The failure of the bureaucracy at these earlier points to refer the more serious matters to the police means that the bureaucracy has created a break in the "integrity and anti-corruption system" (my emphasis).
3. Examples. On the basic website Home http://www.malsmusings.info/ may be found Chapters that deal with various aspects : (all addresses have an underline as "index_files")
Overviews : http://www.malsmusings.info/index_files/DECLARATION.htm
with numerous other and more specific Chapters.
4. Realism. After some 20 years involved in trying to have organized crime involving the bureaucracies of Victorian and the Federal jurisdictions investigated, but without success, I suggest that a large number of Officials must have been caught up in the corruption network - to varying degrees. Departments include :
Victorian The Health Department
The Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria
The Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal
Federal The Health Department
Health Insurance Commission (now Medicare Australia)
The Commonwealth Law Enforcement Board
The Australian National Audit Office
The Professional Review Committee
The Reserve Bank of Australia
and possibly more !
There is a real possibility that there are over 100 Officials involved in various ways and to various degrees, in allowing the corrupted state to persist and diffuse: an expanding network because, as one commentator noted, "it takes two lies to cover up one lie", and the denials and cover-ups must involve false and misleading statements (=lies) about which others in the areas concerned must have knowledge.
No bureaucrat can be expected to initiate an investigation which can be expected to spread throughout the network and catch brothers and sisters in the process. That person would be ostracized and "sent to Coventry" (or worse). So, you are looking at a documented network of criminal associations that may never be investigated ! The can of worms is too big and too full to dare opening.
However, the issues are not dead and buried - thanks to the marvels of the internet, they are to be seen documented on my website. With over 3000 "hits" per month, the world can now read about the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments' perversions of law and justice.
5. Conclusion. The bureaucracies of both the Victorian and Federal Governments have blocked the appropriate investigation of organized crime involving bureaucrats, by the Ministers concerned simply not referring the concerns on to the appropriate police unit for investigation. By this means, those involved in the crimes can enjoy a special protection. Your Review needs to recognize that, by the Ministers vetoing such investigations, creates significant bias when assessing overall and unit performances.
Malcolm Adams Traill: 26/12/2009