Ombudsman Did WHAT?
Commonwealth Ombudsman Allan Asher should resign after confirmation that he energetically colluded with the Green Party to produce criticism of Federal Government policy on border security and to get increased funding for his office.
His behaviour is indefensible. His defence is derisory.
Since the 70s, governments have been setting up review agencies such as the Ombudsman’s office and anti-corruption commissions. They have strengthened parliamentary public accounts committees and given them broader missions. So too, with Auditor Generals. There are anti-discrimination boards, administrative appeals tribunals, and a human rights commission. All designed to keep government honest.
But who keeps these public sector overseers on the straight and narrow? Who polices their behaviour?
It’s plain unethical for an Ombudsman to write questions for politicians grilling him at a Senate Budget Estimates committee. The implication could be drawn – no doubt wrongly – that Mr Asher was inclined to help the Green Party in the context of its support for a budget increase for his office. It is unethical for a Senator to allow herself to be used that way. No argument. Over and out.
Resign, Mr Asher.