Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has identified “corruption risks” within draft legislation related to the 2032 Olympic Games. The concerns come less than a month after the state’s Premier was criticised for instilling secrecy laws within Olympic legislation.
As Brisbane begins the decade-long preparations for the 2032 Olympic Games, legislation pertaining to the organisation of the Games is well into the drafting stages. Last month, the introduction of secrecy laws that would keep Olympic documents private were widely slammed. The legislation would mean all documents and communications pertaining to the Games would be shielded from the public, leaving some critical of the government’s lack of transparency.
Now a new controversy is buzzing around the CCC’s determination that recent legislation was open to “corruption risks”. The legislation—introduced at the end of last month—pertained to the Olympic Games’ organising committee.
According to the state’s corruption watchdog, the legislative could exempt elected officials from disclosing conflicts of interest while on the Games’ organising committee.
“If a conflict arises between an elected office bearer’s duties and their role as a director on the Corporation it should be declared and managed,” said CCC chairman Alan MacSporran.
“Given the mixed public and private nature of the Corporation’s functions, the CCC’s view is that this should weigh in favour of more stringent, rather than less stringent, governance mechanisms.”
The Department of the Premier and Cabinet has defended the legislation.
“The Lord Mayor and any appointee to the board who is an elected representative, such as a minister, could have competing interests by virtue of their public duties or role within the government,” the Department wrote in their response to the CCC’s findings.
“However, there is a board alignment of interests within the Corporation and Games partners for the successful delivery of the Games, which ameliorates the potential for conflicts to arise.”
Further concerns were raised over the legislation’s proposal that members of parliament who also occupy roles as directors on the committee should be exempted from Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Act.
“There is no principled reason why Commonwealth parliamentarians should be exempted from this accountability regime,” Mr MacSporran said.
“It would be perverse if all other directors of the Corporation were within the CCC’s jurisdiction, but directors who were members of the Commonwealth parliament were not.”
The Department of the Premier and Cabinet defended this choice too, saying it was made in consultation with and on the advice of the federal government.
“Following consultation [with the federal government], the Commonwealth government specifically requested that the CC Act not apply to Commonwealth parliamentarians,” the Department responded.
An inquiry into the bill, conducted by the Economics and Governance Committee, is ongoing.
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