Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Vanstone’

A Bugg in the farce of the Reith Telecard affair

In From the Archives, Margo Kingston, Telecard Affair on January 9, 2013 at 12:54 AM

By Margo Kingston
Source: Webdiary SMH
November 22, 2000

Mr Bugg during a senate legal and constitutional legislation committee.

Mr Bugg during a senate legal and constitutional legislation committee. Photo: JACKY GHOSSEIN

Every year Senators get to quiz bureaucrats and statutory officers on their performance and the success or otherwise of government policies. It’s called “Senate Estimates”, is designed to ensure that public money is well spent and is one of many reasons why the Senate is the last hope for Parliament, representing the people, to get answers not spin doctored by the executive (the Prime Minister and his ministers). Freedom FROM information is the executive’s motto but in Senate estimates, evidence is under oath, so those under the gun have to be more careful than politicians are with the truth.

Today, the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional committee got its chance to put the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Damian Bugg QC, to the test on his handling of the Reith Telecard affair.

I’ve written about the behaviour of Mr Bugg extensively in the diary (see The Small Matter of Prosecution and Telecard Shenanigans) and his performance today only confirmed widespread concern that he has neglected his duty to preserve public confidence in the integrity of the administration of justice.

The Reith Telecard scandal burst into the public sphere just last month. His decision not to prosecute anyone for anything is the most controversial he has made as DPP. He must have realised he would be asked questions on the matter by Labor Senators. (Government Senators rarely if ever ask questions on behalf of the people and instead sit there to protect witnesses from having to reveal things the Government doesn’t want revealed. It’s called betrayal of the people.) Read the rest of this entry »

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