Venue: Rosslyn Bay Resort, Rosslyn, Yeppoon, Qld.
Saturday 20th August 2016
GUEST SPEAKER: Professor Tim Prenzler
Professor Tim Prenzler (University of Sunshine Coast) presented an informative session on “Grey Corruption in Australia: Types, Causes & Solutions.” Tim gave an overview of his progress to this area of criminology. He described starting his studies in situational crime reduction (ram raids, welfare fraud). More recent studies into the gratuities given to police (such as half price hamburgers) lead to the conclusion that any investigations need to be undertaken by an ‘independent’ body. He also studied and provided advice on ways to improve police behaviour in several jurisdictions and evidenced concrete results of improvements.
Critically Tim provided a table that defined 25 strategies that are proven to reduce common criminal activity (see Attachment below). He then discussed the possible application of these strategies to areas of grey corruption.
Tim emphasised the need for review bodies to be seen to be independent, completely separate from the relevant organisation and to be well resourced and easily accessible. He referred to effective models existent in North Ireland and Honk Kong.
Tim reported that his current focus is as part of a $300,000 project funded by Transparency International, the NSW Ombudsman and the Qld Integrity Commissioner. The project is to “Strengthen Australia’s National Integrity Systems.” The project will focus on areas such as: lies and false promises; abuse of entitlements; pork barrelling; political donations and undue influence; gifts and benefits; excessive and wasteful expenditure.
Tim recommended a range of strategies – building consensus amongst concerned groups, setting and communicating rules clearly, assisting compliance (e.g., specialist public servants and whistle-blower protection), detecting breaches, enhancing transparency, enforcing breaches, monitoring impacts. Many questions followed and it was noted that the Crime and Corruption Commission in Qld investigates less than 3% of complaints received.
Much more was said on subjects of malfeasance, protection of whistle-blowers, small vs large organisations. Tim also mentioned the work of Adam Graycar as being the foremost academic researcher in this area.
QLGRA Chairman Colin Hewitt thanked Tim for his excellent presentation and his interaction with the group.