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 Corruption: No resources

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Simon Davidson

Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2007-06-09

PostSubject: Corruption: No resources   Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:08 am

Article from:
June 25, 2007 02:15am
THE Police Complaints Authority and State Ombudsman do not have the resources to investigate corruption, it has emerged.
Ombudsman Eugene Biganovsky and PCA head Tony Wainwright have confirmed
any allegations of official corruption, including against police, have
to be investigated by SA Police.
The comments by Mr Wainwright and Mr Biganovsky follow calls by
Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Pallaras, QC, and former
Auditor-General Ken MacPherson for an independent anti-corruption
commission, similar to those operating interstate.
The State Government repeatedly has ruled out setting up an
anti-corruption agency, arguing the Police Complaints Authority and SA
Police Anti-Corruption Branch were capable of performing the task.
Mr Biganovsky, who retired last Friday after 22 years investigating
complaints against the SA public sector, said his office did not have
the capacity to investigate systemic corruption in the public sector or
local government.
"We're all limited on what we can do," he said.
"It comes to a question of time, resources and expertise." Mr
Wainwright yesterday also told The Advertiser his office did not have
the staffing or expertise to investigate serious corruption allegations
against police officers.
Its main role was to oversee investigations by police into public complaints against officers, not conduct inquiries.
"We direct investigations (against individual police officers), oversee them and assess their results," he said.
"We do not have an investigative function as such.
"Our main role is to oversee the investigations conducted by police into complaints received by this office."
Mr Biganovsky said he asked Mr Wainwright last year if he could
officially oversee the authority's operations but the request was
declined on jurisdictional grounds.
"Legally, the Ombudsman has no power to oversee the Police
Complaints Authority but oversees other agencies such as the Consumer
Affairs Commissioner, Equal Rights Commissioner and Health Complaints
Commissioner," he said.
"It is a political question about whether State Parliament wants to
modify the legislation to allow the Ombudsman to look at the practices
and procedures of the Police Complaints Authority to ensure they are
conducted fairly, efficiently and quickly."
Mr Biganvosky said the legislation controlling the Police Complaints
Authority - which, by law, must conduct all of its operations in secret
- was introduced in the mid-1980s and could be reviewed to "see if it
is doing all the things it was intended to do."
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