Time for an agency to fight corruption?
Sir, – Newton Emerson suggests that Simon Coveney’s proposed anti-corruption agency should be based on the Hong Kong example (Opinion & Analysis, May 18th).
A more effective model for a parliamentary democracy is found in the Australian states.
The six states have independent crime and corruption commissions with extensive powers to conduct hearings that compel people to attend and give evidence; documents and other material must be produced.
In recent years, a state premier, state government ministers, a commissioner of police, a chief magistrate, members of parliament, numerous government officials, and prominent businessmen have been imprisoned on corruption and fraud offences.
The commissions publicly criticise agencies and officials who have acted improperly.
Such results can only be obtained when investigators are totally independent of politicians.
In addition, media outlets in Australia have a constitutionally protected freedom to expose corruption and wrongdoing in politics and government.
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption, to which Ireland is a signatory, declared December 9th each year as International Anti-Corruption Day.
Perhaps the new agency could be in place by December 9th, 2017. – Yours, etc,
Dr JOHN DOHERTY,