ICAC Report – Operation Spicer Report Released 30 Aug 2016

Earlier Story 12 December 2015 : ICAC Still Under Threat

Newcastle Herald 01 Sept: OPINION: Sorry Mike, this time sorry is not enough

Media Release, (A Must Read), Fact Sheet and (Full Report, 168 Pages, 16MB!) available for download on ICAC webite HERE. Seat of Port Stephens pages 152 -153

Continually Updated Press Clippings Below Stories……….. 24 Nov 2016

Even More ICAC Stories: HERE

ICAC Operation Spicer Report Released August 30 2016

This long awaited report has now been released. This Operation started in early 2014! The results are a damning indictment of our election funding system. It appears that all the legal action and the Cuneen High Court diversion has had the desired effect: the powers of the Commission to declare people ‘corrupt’ have been reduced and the findings delayed long enough to avoid prosecutions by the Election Funding Authority (EFA), (now abolished and absorbed into the NSW Electoral Commission) from taking any action because of the statute of limitations.

Laws have obviously been broken but only four prosecutions have been recommended, all for related matters, (one for corruption as a Public Official), one for Larceny (stealing) and two for allegedly ‘misleading’ the Commission. The only damage to the rest is to their ‘reputations’.

TRRA’s Experience with the EFA

icac-inquiry-into-mcgurks-death-after-nsw-data_20150418123120Under the current law donations do not have to be declared for up to a year after the election. The statute of limitations is set at three years so a third of it is gone before we even get to see the declarations. This leaves two years for people to question the veracity and implications and bring it to the attention of the EFA.

Our experience with the EFA, when we bought serious matters to their attention after the declarations were made for the 2012 Local Government elections, was that we never did get any useful response from the EFA itself, only from the Electoral Commission. We were told that “Your email has also been referred to the NSW Electoral Commission to reply to you directly in respect to the matters raised in your enquiry that relate to the conduct of the election. The Election Funding Authority will be in contact with you if we have any questions or require further information from you.” They never did, despite our serious allegations of funding discrepancies.

We followed up our submission with a string of emails for another three months and finally got the response: “I hope you can appreciate that we are currently in the process of undertaking compliance audits on the almost 10,000 declarations received by our office for the 2013 reporting period. Each declaration lodged is audited and during each audit we take into account any complaints received by us. This process does take a significant amount of time due to the volume and complexity of the work.” Eventually we ended up with a curt: “As indicated in my email to you dated 18 December 2013, the matters you have raised with the Authority will be dealt with in accordance with the Authority’s Audit Policy and Compliance Policy. The Authority does not comment in respect to its handling of any matter.” So there……!

We can only assume that our complaint must have been towards the end of the 10,000 and they just did not get to it before the time ran out, but of course they don’t even have to tell us about it anyway! Some indication that the maters we raised were even considered, wrong, irrelevant, or correct but we are not going to do anything about it would have helped. They said that the matters would be considered in the audit process, but we will never know if they were. Why do we bother?

We have read in related coverage that this department was completely under resourced and we have yet to hear of any prosecutions, or even the paltry fines prescribed in the original legislation. They have now beefed up the fines, (after the horse has bolted) but if no one is enforcing them what is the point?  This one was set up by the politicians, for the politicians…..

Local Government elections are being held around the State right now in the areas not affected the amalgamations. We will find out who donated what in December 2017!

TRRA Media Officer: Dick Appleby

NSW Electoral Commission Finally awakes from 5 year slumber:
  • Key points:
    • Free Enterprise Foundation was used to “disguise” donations, report says
    • Foundation used to offer anonymity to favorable donors, including property developers
    • Campaign funding won’t be paid to Liberal Party until full disclosures made

Sydney Morning Herald 29 March 2016: Assistant minister Angus Taylor discussed Free Enterprise Foundation with key fundraiser

Newcastle Herald 25 March 2016: NSW Liberals may lose $4m in donor cloud

ABC News 24 March 2016: Liberal Party used ‘charitable’ Free Enterprise Foundation to disguise donations: NSW Electoral Commission

Sydney Morning Herald 23 March 2016: NSW Liberals down $4 million over hundreds of thousands in donations cloud

Sydney Morning Herald 23 March 2016: NSW Liberals ‘concealed’ illegal donors before 2011 election win

Levine - Latham


Inspector Levine – Commissioner Latham

More from ICAC, as it happens:

Sydney Morning Herald 24 Nov 2016: Margaret Cunneen’s prayers answered: ICAC commissioner Megan Latham resigns

Sydney Morning Herald 24 Nov 2016: ICAC Commissioner Megan Latham’s removal either a bungle or pure political cowardice 

Sydney Morning Herald 24 Nov 2016: Who will replace Megan Latham in ICAC’s top Job

Sydney Morning Herald 23 Nov 2016: ICAC chief’s resignation ‘sets back corruption fighting by years’ 

Sydney Morning Herald 23 Nov 2016: ICAC Chief Quits after being forced to reapplied for Job

 ABC News 23 Nov 2016: ICAC commissioner resigns just days after Government passed legislation which effectively sacked her

Newcastle Herald 18 Nov 2016 – Editorial: Premier Mike Baird’s changes to ICAC are a bad look for this government 

Sydney Morning Herald 16 Nov 2016: ‘The perception is that this is corrupt’: former ICAC assistant commissioner Anthony Whealy blasts Mike Baird

Sydney Morning Herald 16 Nov 2016: Arthur Sinodinos may benefit from Mike Baird’s ICAC overhaul

ABC PM Radio Program 16 Nov 2016: Political motives suspected behind ICAC changes  (Click on Sound Bar for Audio)

ABC News 16 November 2016: ICAC explained: Why it was established, who has been grilled by it, what the future holds

ABC News 16 November 2016: ICAC: Former anti-corruption commissioners attack ‘scandalous’ overhaul plan

Sydney Morning Herald 15 Nov: Labor baulks at ICAC reform without Megan Latham as commissioner

Sydney Morning Herald 15 Nov: Premier Mike Baird risks being known as the man who destroyed ICAC 

Newcastle Herald 15 November 2016: Labor baulks at ICAC reform without Megan Latham as commissioner 

ABC News 15 November 2016: ICAC: Sweeping changes to NSW watchdog might see Megan Latham lose job

Newcastle Herald 27 October 2016: Editorial – ICAC reform must preserve public hearings

Newcastle Herald 22 Sept 2016: Former Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell repays 

Sydney Morning Herald 11 Sept 2016: Former ICAC boss David Ipp slams ‘egregious’ plan to restructure agency

Sydney Morning Herald 08 Sept 2016: Call to replace ICAC chief with three commissioners

Newcastle Herald 02 Sept 2016: IAN KIRKWOOD: Former Hunter Liberal MPs on the pressures of ICAC

Examiner 02 Sept 2016: Craig Baumann critical of ICAC’s Operation Spicer 

Newcastle Herald 02 Sept 2016: IAN KIRKWOOD: Operation Spicer was an overkill  (Must be two versions of this report and its Findings out there….!)

Sydney Morning Herald 01 Sept 2016: Arthur Sinodinos accused of potentially misleading Parliament over donations scam 

ABC News 31 Aug 2016: ICAC: NSW Liberal figures and businessmen tried to evade political funding laws, report finds

Newcastle Herald 31 Aug 2016: ICAC Operation Spicer: Foley calls for ‘justice’ for Hunter

Newcastle Herald 31 Aug 2016: Hilton Grugeon hits back at ICAC and counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson

Newcastle Herald 31 Aug 2016: Jodi McKay and Jeff McCloy trade barbs over ICAC’s Operation Spicer report 

Sydney Morning Herald 30 Aug 2016: Why Mike Baird should allow the debate on prosecution of former Liberals

Sydney Morning Herald 30 Aug 2016: Mike Baird letting former Liberal MPs ‘off the hook’ in donations probe, says Labor

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC Operation Spicer: election was stolen from me, McKay

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: Former lord mayor McCloy hits back at ICAC 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: Port of Newcastle skullduggery plays major part in Operation Spicer findings 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC Operation Spicer: Gallacher says he’s going nowhere despite findings. 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: MPs have paid price, says Baird 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC Operation Spicer: Baird closes door on ex Hunter MPs

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016Tripodi only person recommended for charges out of ICAC port examination 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC: “Serious corruption” for former Labor power broker Joe Tripodi 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC Operation Spicer: the main players 

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC’s Operation Spicer report live: the findings revealed | video

Newcastle Herald 30 Aug 2016: ICAC’s Operation Spicer report: Two years in the making 

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