The CCC has tabled its second report into the misuse of Parliamentary electorate allowances and related misconduct risks in State Parliament today.
The Commission has formed opinions of serious misconduct relating to two former members of the Legislative Council:
- Mr Brian Ellis; and
- Mr Nigel Hallett.
Today's Report on electorate allowances and management of electorate offices details more instances of the thematic abuse of the electorate allowance, including the use of public funds for private overseas and domestic travel, high-end dining experiences, and adult entertainment at a strip club.
It highlights a lack of accountability, diligence and understanding by some politicians of the purpose behind parliamentary allowances. Some members felt entitled to apply public money to fund private expenses, while some purported to justify the expenditure with tenuous or deceptive links to parliamentary or electorate purpose.
The Commission's investigation has been longer than anticipated because it was impeded by particular witnesses influencing evidence, destroying or withholding relevant records, intentionally and materially flouting the confidentiality obligations of non-disclosure orders, and giving false testimony during private examinations.
Despite this, the Commission has exposed a lack accountability around the use of parliamentary allowances and the management of electorate offices that is significantly out of step with the oversight and accountability framework imposed on the rest of the public sector.