12 November 2020
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) Association, representing almost 4,000 law enforcement and national security officials has issued a stunning repudiation of the Coalition’s proposed proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC). They said that the proposal creates unacceptable unfairness for its members when compared to politicians and public servants. The association’s president, Alex Caruana said that if a police officer accepted a police discount from a store, he will have to face a public hearing, while a senior departmental official or minister who approved the purchase of land from a party donor at 10 times its true value would not.
The association fully supports the private member bill introduced by MP Helen Hains that states that there has to be a common set of rules for all. The attorney general’s bill for the proposed CIC creates a two tier system in which the police officers are treated as second class officers.
The Centre for Public Integrity has also criticised the proposed commission in that it would have less investigative powers than a royal commission. It added that the CIC has only limited powers to summon witnesses, compel the production of documents, hold public hearings and report to the public, making it weaker than a commission.
AFP officers are not happy because they are are currently subject to the scrutiny of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) and AFP Professional Standards. This made them one of the most scrutinised police forces in the country.
The Guardian reported.