In a modern democracy the state controls the apparatus of power for the benefit of the people, or so the theory goes. The apparatus of power includes the police, the judiciary and the bureaucracy. Each arm of this machine or apparatus is answerable to parliament, the elected representatives of the people. Likewise, each arm is independent, or at least was meant to be independent of direct political influence. The concept of independence over the years has become so intertwined with the concept of accountability that the two can no longer be separated.
To protect the independence of the various arms of the administration and to strengthen the accountability of the bureaucracy and the police, the parliament enacted a number of laws which aimed at protecting those members of the bureaucracy and the police who on occasion find it necessary to ‘blow the whistle’ on their collegues. This type of legislation has euphemistically come to be known as the ‘Whistleblower’ Act.
In the Australian Capital Territory the ‘Whistleblower’ Act is known as the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994. According to the official guidelines for the ACT Department of Treasury on Public Interest Disclosures, the ACT Department of Treasury Procedures for Actioning Public Interest Disclosures:
The Act provides a method for any member of the public, including ACT public servants, to report wrongdoing in the ACT public sector – this is called making a public interest disclosure (also known as ‘whistle-blowing’).
Return readers might recall that I had previously referred to a letter from Mr. Chris Roberts, Director of Investigations with the ACT and Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office. In that letter Mr. Roberts made the following comment:
The Department advised me that you made an oblique reference to a PID in a letter of 27 June 2003 to the Chief Minister and that the Chief Executive indicated to you in a letter of 4 July 2003 that the matters you raised were subject to a separate investigation and does not intend to separately investigate them under the PID Act but referred you to the Ombudsman if you so preferred.
A PID is a Public Interest Disclosure and is the mechanism provided for in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 (ACT) for reporting a “… wrongdoing in the ACT public sector”. It is also worth noting at this juncture that the correspondence referred to by Mr. Roberts was between the then Commissioner for ACT Revenue, the Chief Executive of ACT Treasury and the Chief Minister for the ACT. People at the very top of the bureaucracy and the parliament in the ACT and by default Australia, the very people tasked with defending the ‘rule of law’ and protecting the interests of all citizens.
The letter was written by the then Commissioner for ACT Revenue (an Aboriginal Australian) to the Chief Minister of the ACT, Mr. Jon Stanhope, advising him that there had been a systematic break down in accountability within the ACT Public Service resulting in the theft and transfer of one hundred and thirty million dollars ($130,000,000) from the ACT Home Loan Portfolio to the Australian Labor Party (ALP). The letter further advised the Chief Minister that the writer had been subjected to a sustained campaign of racial hatred and vilification from within the ACT Public Service resulting from his investigation into the missing money.
The Chief Executive of ACT Treasury responded on behalf of the Chief Minister advising the Commissioner for Revenue that:
“…the matters you raised were subject to a separate investigation and does not intend to separately investigate them under the PID Act…”
The outcome of that investigation is something that should be of concern to all Australians as it goes to the very core of our democratic process. If the ALP is allowed to get away with theft on a grand scale for party-political purposes and then racially and politically attack the whistle-blower in contravention of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 (ACT), then what has our democracy come to?
The Commissioner for Revenue advised the ACT Treasurer, through his political advisor Mr. Jeff House, that he intended to take the racism issues to the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. What is disturbing is that he then was fitted-up with the help of Ernst & Young, sacked and subjected to a most dehumanising campaign of vilification by the ACT Government, the ALP and the Australian Federal Police.
During the course of this ALP orchestrated campaign of hatred, certain matters found their way into the legal system in the process. The exchange of correspondence referred to by Mr. Roberts was subpoenaed. The ACT Government and Mr. Jon Stanhope denied its existence and refused to comply with the subpoena. When a complaint was made to the AFP, they responded by attacking the relatives of the former Commissioner of Revenue, most of who are Indigenous Australians.
The fact that these documents were referred to by an independent and impartial arbitrator, the Ombudsman, and can then disappear without trace because they bring into question the integrity of the ALP and senior officers within the ACT bureaucracy is an absolute affront to the ‘rule of law’ and the Australian democratic process. The probable beneficiaries of this theft are the same people who, using a politicised police service, the AFP, have been able to deflect their criminality onto the whistle-blower in contravention of legislation designed to protect such people.
The state of the ACT budget
In 2006 a person by the name of Phil Hart independently came by the same information and published it on a website known as Mullinitover.info.au. During its short lived existence, Mullinitover.info.au published information which brought into question the integrity of the ACT budget process and the accuracy of the ACT Public Accounts. In particular, it pointed out that the ACT Government had underfunded staff super by one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000). This was eventually picked-up by the ACT Opposition and the Canberra Times. Consequentially, the AFP raided the home of the former Commissioner for ACT Revenue, racially vilified him and bashed him. They did not raid Mr. Hart’s home looking for the source of the leak. Interestingly, the AFP had the former Commissioner in court in Canberra the day before the raid. While in court his house in Sydney was mysteriously burgled. Nothing was taken, but some items may have been added. The former Commissioner is recorded on video during the raid pointing out to AFP and NSW Police that the raid was politically motivated, driven by what was published on Mullinitover.info.au.
While some of this might seem a little far-fetched, when we consider what the AFP has done to Dr. Mohamed Haneef, Mr. Julian Moti and Mr. Marten, it seems just par for the course for a politicized police service.