New South Wales grant scheme report recommends not making barrel pork an offense

A New South Wales government review of grant funding recommended a range of changes, but did not say pork barrel should be an offence.

The review was commissioned in November last year as the government pushed back against allegations over its grant scheme, following Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings involving former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

Completed in April, the final report, along with 19 recommendations on how to improve transparency, accountability and probity, was released by the state government this morning.

“Grants are an important part of how the government supports communities and individuals,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

“All grants are ultimately publicly funded, so it’s critical that we also ensure they are administered fairly, efficiently and transparently.”

Prepared by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office and the Productivity Commissioner, the review is forward-looking – suggesting policy changes rather than analyzing past decisions.

In a section titled “Responsible decision-making is necessary to manage the risk of pork casking,” the report argues against creating an offense prohibiting pork casking due to “existing legally enforceable measures.” .

He also says updating the ICAC definition to include hog-barrelling is not “appropriate” because the Watchdog Act already includes a “broad definition of what constitutes ‘corrupt conduct’.” “.

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