Thank you for sharing your concerns about the Government’s handling of conflicts of interest relating to the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).
The NCCC wields significant influence at a time of national crisis. As a body within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, it should uphold the same high standards of integrity expected across the public service.
The Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, chaired by Labor Senator Katy Gallagher, will continue to examine these issues as part of its ongoing scrutiny of the Government's response to COVID-19.
In public hearings over the last few months, the Senate Select Committee questioned PM&C and the NCCC CEO about the salaries awarded to commissioners and the processes in place for managing conflicts of interest; you can find transcripts of these proceedings here and here.
Many of these questions were taken on notice by the Department and have still not been answered, despite now being more than six weeks overdue. There are obviously more questions the Government needs to answer about the NCCC, including why special advisors and other “appendages” to the Commission do not appear to be subject to any conflict of interest process. Labor will continue to pursue the Government over all these questions.
The Committee will take these concerns into account for future hearings with the NCCC.