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Analysis and Comment (17)

Many countries still need to clean up their act on anti-corruption and whistleblowing protections. Shutterstock

Anti-corruption bar set higher, but Australia still has more to do

Despite the adoption of a third two-year G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan, corruption received only a few lines in the latest G20 leaders’ communique. The credibility of the G20 as a whole now rests on…
The facts about mining revenues and taxation in Australia aren’t as clear as they should be under global transparency benchmarks. AAP/Rebecca Le May

Why isn’t Australia signing up to mining revenue transparency?

It’s a far-from-perfect instrument of global governance. But as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) coalition celebrates its 12th birthday, it can point to steadily increasing membership…
Attorney-General George Brandis has introduced laws that cast a blanket of secrecy over the use and potential abuse of sweeping national security powers. AAP/Lukas Coch

National security gags on media force us to trust state will do no wrong

It has been said that the line between good investigative reporting and inappropriate journalistic prying is never clearly drawn. Journalists usually complain long and hard when governments intervene to…
Citing ‘the national interest’ enables Julie Bishop and her government colleagues simply to assert the need for everything from tougher security laws to supplying arms to Iraqi rebels. AAP/Lukas Coch

‘National interest’ figleaf avoids debate on wars and terror laws

“There is no such thing as the national interest,” I tell my first-year Australian foreign policy students. This tends to stop them in their tracks. After all, if there is no such thing as the national…
What data from telcos and tech companies does the government want handed over? Flickr/Nic McPhee

When does Google hand over your data to governments?

Governments around the world want to know a lot about who we are and what we’re doing online and they want communications companies to help them find it. We don’t know a lot about when companies hand over…
Australia uses over seven million of the around 115 million animals used for scientific research each year worldwide. Ikayama/Flickr

Why Australia needs to catch up on animal research transparency

The UK government recently concluded a six-week consultation on discarding a section of its law on animal experimentation in the interest of openness. Australia doesn’t have such restrictive laws but we’re…
Making things black and white at The Bank of England. Mark Cornelius/Bank of England

ECB drama highlights the central bank transparency dilemma

When the European Central Bank sent markets reeling yesterday with moves designed to stimulate growth, the 24 people who made that decision could remain comfortable that their exact arguments and misgivings…
More formal decisions are required to shine a light on how privacy law is applied. Shutterstock

Privacy law is toothless without greater transparency

What does privacy mean in an age of ongoing privacy breaches? With new privacy law coming online in Australia on March 12, our Privacy in Practice series explores the practical challenges facing Australian…
What chance the ICC will act to clean up cricket, which continues to be dogged by corruption scandals? EPA/Rahat Dar

Corruption in sport: cricket, transparency and governance

Amidst crowded match schedules that are as much about finance as play, cricket’s off-field governance and probity problems have reappeared to raise further questions about its future. News broke last week…
Concern over the transparency of TPP negotiations grew after it was revealed negotiating documents could not be released until four years after the completion of the negotiations. Azhar Rahim/AAP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Australia’s right to know

In the history of trade agreement negotiations, most have been undertaken in secret, justified on the grounds that the governments’ negotiating positions would be weakened if they became public. But this…
Money makes the world go round … or flat, depending on who is paying. Jason Mrachina

Bill protects lobbyists while targeting civil society

The government bill on lobbying currently making its way through parliament has trade unions and most of the non-government organisation (NGO) world up in arms. But they are not complaining about the provisions…
While there has been an increasing amount of support for transparency initiatives by global resources giants, nations involved are impatient this has yet to translate to social good.

Beyond the talk to action: When does transparency translate to accountability?

Global miners are being asked to publish what they pay, but is transparency enough? This was the hard question being asked of governments, mining and extractive industry representatives, intergovernmental…
The goals of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative are laudable; but an excessive focus on transparency and accountability doesn’t always benefit developing host countries.

Is more transparency for big miners the answer for developing countries?

A developed country, rich in natural resources, with relatively open and accountable governance lends its support to a global transparency initiative – what does this mean for the world’s poor? It depends…
Degrees of dirt: the state and organised crime are not separate entities as we like to believe. Flickr/PropagandaTimes

Challenge 12: Look within for transnational criminals

In part 12 of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Jacqui Baker argues that the ugly truth of organised crime is that governments and their agencies are a fundamental part of it. Global challenge…