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Ombudsman Did WHAT?

October 13, 2011

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.

6 Comments
  1. David permalink
    October 13, 2011 6:36 pm

    Spot on Bob. This guy is a real turkey – have a look at how many ‘administrative’ matters he’s commented on. He’s trying to use the Ombudsman’s office as a vehicle to comment on Government policy. It’s just not his place. Further, his bio says something about being a practicing solicitor, but I can’t find any record of him actually doing this – I’m sure the relevant law society would have something to say about that!

  2. John Ryan permalink
    October 13, 2011 6:41 pm

    If what you say is true, I completely agree

  3. christine swan permalink
    October 13, 2011 8:15 pm

    Appreciate your speaking out on this

  4. Robert permalink
    October 14, 2011 6:44 am

    Exactly right, Mr Carr. If Mr Asher wants to play politics he should run for Parliament. Colluding with politicians to ask himself questions and answer them in the interests of a political organisation, is not very far from the actions of Godwin Grech.

    Mr Asher should resign.

  5. michael egan permalink
    October 14, 2011 10:45 am

    Of course he should resign. The public is entitled to have confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Ombudsman. Mr Asher’s actions have destroyed that confidence. What’s more, his behaviour, and his pathetic defence of it, indicate that he lacks the good judgement necessary for such an important office.
    Michael Egan.

  6. October 18, 2011 11:44 am

    Bob Carr is the last idiot that should be telling someone to resign.

    Censorship suck; abc,net.au censos suck the hardest and Commissar Jonathon Green is the greatest censor of our time.

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