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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 1374

Senator SINGH (Tasmania) (12:38): I concur with the remarks of the Deputy Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, Senator Macdonald, regarding the work of both the secretariat and ACLEI. Since becoming a member of this committee in July last year, at the same time as Senator Wright, I have enjoyed my time on the committee. I have a great interest in the area of law enforcement integrity and especially the work we have been doing on the committee in the area of integrity testing. As Senator Macdonald noted, the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 requires the committee to examine each annual report and each special report prepared by the Integrity Commissioner. In this case it is the annual report for 2010-11.

The most significant part of that report is the increase in jurisdiction for ACLEI with the addition of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, announced by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in July 2010. Since ACLEI's inception, its workload and resources have needed to expand and the federal government has responded with increased funding to ACLEI. When ACLEI started out, its jurisdiction was the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police. It has grown since 2007, with now four annual reports.

Today we did note the work ACLEI has conducted over those five years by celebrating with the Integrity Commissioner and his team. I add my sincere appreciation for the approach that the Integrity Commissioner applies to all his work. I also note the significant challenges that remain for ACLEI. They include the addition of the Customs and Border Protection Service to ACLEI's body of work, the timeliness of its investigations, the balancing of resources, developments in the prevention of corruption and educational programs.

ACLEI'S fifth anniversary is a significant achievement. It is worth noting the commissioner's comments in the latest annual report that the best approach for an anticorruption agency such as ACLEI lies in bringing about and sustaining a culture that recognises, opposes and resists corrupt conduct. It is quite pertinent that the Integrity Commissioner refers to corruption as the 'invisible crime': it succeeds only so long as it remains undetected. That is a good example of the difficulty that any anticorruption agency faces in trying to identify that invisible crime. ACLEI's use of a multidimensional framework of detect, disrupt, deter is an efficient way in which to tackle these difficulties in those agencies that come under ACLEI'S jurisdiction.

Finally, I thank very much the secretariat for its work. The staff has been incredibly supportive of me and other members by ensuring the committee runs effectively, efficiently and has all the information it needs to hand. My sentiments go to Dr Jon Bell, who is moving on from the committee to take up a new position. Thank you, Dr Bell, for all of your work in ensuring the committee's work has been done to the best of its ability, which could not have been achieved without your support. I concur with Senator Macdonald on ACLEI's good work and its latest annual report. I seek to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.