Breaches of the ACT Ministerial Code of Conduct

Chief Minister Andrew Barr may have breached the ACT Ministerial Code of Conduct on at least five instances in the scandalous Dickson deal, Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe said today.
Ethical principles that may have been breached include:

3 (a) integrity
Ministers must not use their position or information gained in the performance of their duties to gain a direct or indirect advantage for themselves or their families or acquaintances that would not be available to the general public.

“The Labor-Greens government went out of its way to create benefits for the CFMEU-linked Tradies by changing key contract clauses. No other tenderer had access to these changes making the final contract “fundamentally and materially altered” from the original RFT. It seems the government rules to keep its Labor mates happy,” Mr Coe said.

3 (d) transparency
Ministers must make their decisions and actions as open to scrutiny as is possible consistent with the conventions of responsible government

“After one of the worst probity breaches in Canberra’s history, the Chief Minister has not said a word.
“Instead, Minister Gentleman said the report put the matter to bed. Clearly, he was wrong and we are still waiting to hear from the Chief Minister,” Mr Coe said.

3 (e) accountability
Ministers are accountable for their own behaviour and the decisions and actions of their staff. They are accountable, within accepted Westminster conventions, for their portfolio and agencies.

“In a gutless abdication of ministerial responsibilities, Minister Gentleman avoided accountability by throwing one of his senior public servants into the firing line to clean up the Chief Minister’s mess.
“The Chief Minister has yet to assume any responsibility for his actions,” Mr Coe said.

3 (h) responsibility
Ministers must use the power of office responsibly and in the interests of the people in the ACT.

“The Auditor-General found that under the Chief Minister’s watch, the Labor-Greens government unnecessarily lost $2.4 – $2.65 million of ACT taxpayers’ money.
“The Chief Minister has disregarded the interests of Canberrans to fuel the merry-go-round of money between ACT taxpayers and the labour movement,” Mr Coe said.

3 (i) Respect for the law and the administration of justice
Ministers must respect and uphold the laws of the Territory and the Commonwealth as they relate to the ACT.

“There needs to be further investigation into potential government breaches of the Planning and Development Act 2007, identified by the Auditor-General.
“The scandalous Dickson deal is a grave indictment on the Chief Minister and the Labor-Greens government that has produced a terrible outcome for ACT taxpayers,” Mr Coe concluded.

Ministerial Code of Conduct 2012: www.cmd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/298772/MinCodeofConduct2012.pdf