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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Craig Thomson and the KPMG Inquiry

An independent inquiry conducted by KPMG concluded that Fair Work Australia's three year investigation into the Craig Thomson affair was flawed.  Today, Thomson is jumping for joy because he thinks the report lets him off the hook, but it doesn't, he's still the most hated politician in Australian history.  Kicked out of his own party but still sitting as an Independent, his very presence in Parliament is enough to turn the stomach.

He says the report discredits FWA's findings that he used $500,000 of union money to pay for prostitutes, hotels and his election campaign.  And he's right, it does.  Today's report tells us that this is yet another failure by the Labor Party to get it right.  They set up the workplace watchdog - Fair Work Australia - and it's been proved to be inept.

The report found they used unqualified investigators, didn't chase obvious leads, took far to long to get credit card details and were badly under-resourced.  Any wonder it took so long, the staff who led the inquiry only worked on it part time as they had other daily commitments to attend to.  But the most glaring fault of all is that  FWA failed to prepare a brief of evidence for potential criminal prosecution.

Mr Thomson said "It is absolutely damning and scathing in every respect and if anyone thinks they can take civil action based on this report, they are living in dream land."

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said "The regulator was under-prepared and underestimated the scope of what was required and clearly that has led to unacceptable delays in the whole process."

FWA General Manager Bernadette O'Neill said they had already made changes and would adopt all of the review's recommendations.