Anti-corruption body off the pace

David Rood

June 9, 2011

    Premier Ted Baillieu.

    Premier Ted Baillieu. Photo: Craig Abraham

    PREMIER Ted Baillieu has cast doubt over whether the government’s anti-corruption body will be operational this year.

    The Coalition went to the state election pledging its new Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission would be operational by July 1.

    But with his government embroiled in controversy over tension within and high-level investigations into Victoria police command, Mr Baillieu has refused to give a start date.

    Asked if it could be next year before voters see the commission, he said: ”I would expect it to be, yes. It is a difficult transition exercise and we are doing the planning to make that happen. It’s transition of powers, transition of cases.”

    Legislation to establish the commission is yet to be tabled in Parliament and the government is still to appoint an anti-corruption commissioner.

    The Premier also played down reports of a meeting between Sir Ken Jones and the Office of Police Integrity, revealed in The Age, over the competence and independence of Victoria police.

    The meeting took place just before Sir Ken resigned as deputy commissioner last year.

    ”We should step back here, because somebody met with somebody doesn’t mean anything. People meet with each other all the time,” the Premier said.

    Sir Ken decided to resign in October last year, then Chief Commissioner Simon Overland last month ordered him to bring forward his planned departure.

    The OPI is investigating Sir Ken following a request from Mr Overland, and, according to OPI director Michael Strong, information from at least one other person.

    The Ombudsman is now investigating the circumstances of the OPI’s investigation of Sir Ken.

     

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