Bill's Media Releases

Release of KPMG Process Review

The Government accepts and is disappointed by the core findings of the KPMG process review into Fair Work Australia’s investigations into the Health Services Union.

 We acknowledge that Fair Work Australia was not experienced in the conduct of investigations of such scale and complexity, that process deficiencies existed in the conduct of the investigation and that the investigation took far too long to conclude.

 The Government has already taken action, and will take further action, to ensure this never happens again.

 We acted to improve transparency and governance in employer organisations and unions, without the support of the Opposition.

 The Government’s amendments to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009, which passed the Parliament in June this year:

  • require that the rules of all registered organisations deal with disclosure of remuneration, pecuniary and financial interests;

  • require education and training to be provided to officials of registered organisations about their governance and accounting obligations; and

  • triple penalties for breaches of the Act.


 We acted to enhance the investigative powers available to Fair Work Australia by:

  • requiring FWA investigations to be completed as soon as practicable;

  • requiring FWA follow up within 12 months where a contravention has been found;

  • allowing FWA to delegate investigation functions to experts – like those with experience or knowledge in things like auditing or forensic accounting;

  • expressly permitting FWA to provide information to police and other regulatory agencies; and

  • expanding the groups FWA can compel to provide information or evidence where this is relevant to the investigation.


 Under the Gillard Government the regulation of registered organisations, including trade unions, has never been stronger. Financial accountability and transparency standards for unions and employer organisations have never been higher.

 The Government has previously committed to make any further amendments necessary to implement KPMG’s recommendations, and we stand by that commitment.

 The KPMG review confirms that the Opposition has no credibility on this issue, finding absolutely no basis for repeated accusations of interference in the investigation process.

 

Media Contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660