A report by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission suggests the risk of corruption has “intensified” in state government, amid increased lobbying.

He revealed that a small number of key groups and individuals appeared to have “disproportionate access” to the government and could use those connections to “influence the government’s decision”.

“In some cases, the individuals or groups granted access have close, long-standing political or personal ties to the decision-makers or government they seek to influence,” the report, released on Friday, said.

“Additionally, in some circumstances, these individuals have been hired by a political party or government agency while continuing to influence practices, such as lobbying.”

Meanwhile, the report, Influencing Practices in Queensland, also found there had been “a substantial increase” in lobbying activity in the state.

“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic stimulus efforts appear to have contributed to the recent increase in lobbying activity in Queensland,” the report said.

The report also found that 14 percent of civil service employees had seen or suspected that there was pressure from the private sector on ministry employees.

While 11% had seen or suspected that there was pressure from the private sector on elected officials.

The report also indicated how in recent investigations it found that individuals or groups had maintained or developed relationships with key people to exert influence over government decisions.

During an audit in 2021, the CCC identified 103 discrepancies between records held by public authorities and contacts listed in the Queensland Lobbyist Contact Registry.

He also acknowledged that a relationship between a lobbyist and an elected official was not necessarily an indicator or cause of corruption.

However, it was noted that this could cause a conflict of interest and increase the risk or perception of “favoritism or undue influence”.

Possibly public hearings

The CCC aims to examine the extent to which contacts between lobbyists and government and opposition representatives have been properly recorded by public authorities.

“The audit will involve reviewing the records of a sample of public authorities, including state government departments and local councils, as well as members of parliament and cabinet ministers,” the report said.

He said the audit would allow him to proactively assess and identify any activity or association that might endanger the public interest.

The CCC hinted in the report that it could hold a public hearing if necessary.

The Olympics pose an increased risk

The CCC said the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics carried “an increased risk of inappropriate influence”.

“In Queensland, the government has already begun planning and recruitment for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the report said.

“As large-scale projects and developments are announced, there will be an increasing demand for positions and contracts.”

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the report was an explosive development.(ABC News: Alice Pavlovic)

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the Games were not about “special favors, for special friends”.

“We want to make sure that infrastructure delivery is on time and on budget, that the best contractor gets the most worthy job, not those with the most influence,” he said. he declares.

He said overall the report was a “deeply disturbing development” in Queensland’s integrity crisis.

“It shows a culture that is rotting across state government, a culture where lobbyists have unfettered control and access, and where it’s about the inner workings of the political process, not how we can serve Queenslanders,” said Mr Crisafulli,

“There is no doubt that the level of influence of Labor lobbyists in Queensland is at frightening levels.

“Unless we have a full-fledged royal commission into the way government works in Queensland, we will continue to see the murky relationship. »

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