THE Australian Federal Police don’t quite know what corruption is and want a better definition included in relevant laws.
“I don’t think there is any universally declared understanding of corruption,” acting chief operating officer of the AFP Paul Jevtovic told a parliamentary inquiry hearing on Friday.
While some things were “quite clear”, other conduct referred to professional standards fell into “a grey area”.
A better definition would help police anti-corruption efforts.
The above relates to a comment made by Mr. Jevtovic (now Assistant Commissioner) in response to a question as to whether “a definition of corruption should be inserted into the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006”, as reported by AAP on 23rd October 2009.
Assistant Commissioner Jevtovic’s comments become even more telling when read in conjunction with comments made by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Professor John McMillan, in an interview with ABC TV’s Four Corners on Tuesday 28 October 2008 in which he said that dealing with the AFP is a significant challenge.
“My office is more likely to be told, including from senior levels, that we’re wasting the time of police and that we’re dwelling on trivialities … I have a very professional relationship with the Australian Federal Police but I do find it more of a challenge than I find it with other commonwealth agencies,” Mr McMillan said.
Mr McMillan also spoke out about recent reports an AFP officer had sex with a source.
“Our view very strongly was that it was inappropriate,” he said.
“If police are required to uphold the law, they need to uphold it individually and collectively in all instances.”
Added to Professor McMillan’s comments the public also needs to consider the recent (2008) arrest of Mark Standen. The arrest of Mark Standen (who was a senior investigator with the NSW Crime Commission and has been on remand since June 2008 charged with plotting to import a commercial quantity of a chemical precursor of the illicit drug ice) also raised a flurry of questions about the accountability of the New South Wales Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police, from which many of its officers came.
There is no accountability. At a Commonwealth level there is none. If the average Federal Police officer finds out that there’s something rotten within his own ranks, and remember it’s a very small organisation, it’s very young, it’s extremely immature in terms of an organisation, they can’t even go to the Commonwealth Ombudsman because he then has to call on the AFP to send people to assist with those inquiries into its own. This observation was made by Professor Michael Kennedy of the University of Western Sydney.
Professor Kennedy who is a former NSW detective turned academic has also commented over the years about how a member of the 35-strong AFP Sydney drug investigation unit was allowed to take up a government job after admitting to stealing a kilogram of seized heroin displayed at a media conference.
Another detective resigned after being confronted with allegations he was using and dealing cocaine. He eventually went to work for standover man Tim Bristow, who died in 2003.
One-time head of AFP internal affairs Ray Cooper says security at the TNT offices, where the 35-stronng AFP drug unit resided, was a disgrace.
“Operational details were being leaked to the crims,” Mr Cooper said. “As a result, I warned the hierarchy that we needed to keep an eye out.”
After reading the above is it any wonder that Assistant Commissioner Jevtovic would be asking someone, anyone to advise the AFP what corruption is?
Well Assistant Commissioner Jevtovic I would suggest, in my humble opinion, naturally that all of the above is becoming perilously close to corruption…hey, hey…it’s obviously corruption and if you have to ask…well where does that leave the average Australian who is at the mercy of such an odious organisation?
While you’re clarifying with the government what corruption is, you might want to ask them what happened to the $130,000,000 allegedly stolen from ACT Treasury and funnelled to the Marrickville Branch of the ALP. That also is probably corruption, though you might want to check the definition.