Here Goes Another Report!

Waste Paper in the bin

In the July Issue of The Monthly Report, The Tax Reformer (TTR) predicted that the Coaldrake Report, although well intentioned, will go nowhere … except into the proverbial waste paper bin!

TTR has, as predicted, seen no evidence that the Coaldrake Report will go anywhere. Start again please! Get people like the TTR to identify the many, many examples of the systemic dysfunctionality in the QRO.

A Parliamentary Estimates Committee would be a good spot for the TTR to identify them!

One has to remember that there is legislation in this area: Public Service Act 2008, Public Service Ethics Act 1994 and the Public Records Act 2002.

By way of a reminder, subscribers will recall that on 18 February 2022, the Premier and Minister for the Olympics announced a review into culture and accountability in the Queensland public sector. This independent review undertaken by Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake AO.

The aim of the review was to ensure the Queensland Government has a culture and accountability framework that:

  • is contemporary, fit for purpose and future-focused;
  • is effective in supporting an ethical public sector culture;
  • is underpinned by robust systems, including complaints mechanisms and training; and
  • maintains the public’s trust in the decisions of the Queensland government.

The “Let the sunshine in: Review of culture and accountability in the Queensland Public Sector, Final Report, June 2022” is the final report.

TTR was hoping that this review would shine light on the issues which have been identified in the Monthly Reports. TTR is disappointed in the result.

The Report looks at the system top down. There are good words such as “openness”, “idea of service”. The cause of such things as staff transfers resignations was not looked at. The only way to get reform is a ”bottom up” review with an amendment to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 to give them proper protection. Does the Report look at the number of applications filed in the QIRC against bullying? No. That’s where the “rubber hits the road”! Unfortunately, TTR predicts that this Report will soon be forgotten.

The secrecy of the internal proceedings of the QRO is extraordinary. Just to get copies of the Taxation Consultative Committee meeting Agenda and Minutes, which other jurisdictions have no problem releasing, has so far proved impossible, even when the Terms of Reference of the Committee permits its members to publish extracts.

TTR has enlisted the aid of the Office of the Information Commissioner to see if the drawbridge of Castle Siege can be breached.

No fear! TTR doesn’t give up!

More on this later.