I don’t agree that an Ombudsman, concerned about the inadequate funding of his office, suggesting some “dorothy dixer” type questions he can be asked so that he can express the concerns of his office, is somehow “corrupt”. This is a political system where half of Parliament’s most prominent hour every day is taken up with “dorothy dixer” questions from the government to itself. And whilst an ombudsman isn’t supposed to be party-political, are they really supposed to be neutral on absolutely everything? Against the interests of the office they represent and the citizens it is supposed to protect? How else are they to get these concerns aired, if the big party politicians do not care?
THE Commonwealth Ombudsman has conceded he was unwise and compromised the independence of his office by actively colluding with the Greens, but said he had no other way to air his concerns about government policy.
Following revelations he scripted loaded questions on immigration, defence and taxation for the Greens to ask him during budget estimates hearings, Allan Asher called for a special parliamentary committee or some other mechanism so he could directly raise his concerns.
And until then, why shouldn’t he work within the system as much as he can? In the interests of the ordinary Australians on whose behalf he’s employed?
I don’t see that asking a Senator in a position to raise the office’s concerns to do so in the public forum of budget estimates is improper at all. Unless you define “holding the big parties to account” as “improper”. No wonder they’re united in smearing the Ombudsman and the Greens for daring to challenge them.