ICAC now little more than a last resort

10 September 2009

It may claim independence from partiality, but the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has never been far removed from politics, according to Professor Mark Findlay.

In an opinion piece in today's Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Findlay writes on the history of ICAC and how it is now little more that an ineffectual last resort.

"The current ''scandal'' now being flicked to ICAC is said by some to have that old NSW political hallmark, cash for construction permits.

"This is just the type of corruption that substantiated the argument for keeping ICAC's gaze on the public sector.

"It was thought that corruption remained the province of local government development planning, and state government beyond its reach, or at least that's the way state governments have wished it.

"This investigation is not a test of the commission's relevance but more a confirmation of its failing mission.

"Irrespective of the outcome, the community is convinced that corruption remains a feature of public life in NSW.

"After a quarter century of corruption prevention, ICAC has been incapable of stemming high-level political corruption.

"Neither has it succeeded in overcoming public suspicion that it is business as usual in Macquarie Street."

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Contact: Greg Sherington

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