Saturday, April 7, 2018

Australia's dodgy Teflon government

The Australian people are subject to governance by a highly organised group of people committing criminal offences, where if caught out you (the general population) cannot pin any offences on the people in government, in effect a government that can do no wrong.

In this day and age of the 'interwebs', it can be difficult to imagine that someone has not heard of the government(?) motto 'nothing to hide nothing to fear', which basically applies to the serf population and not the people in government, where transparency and accountability is not on the agenda, but rather quite the opposite. 

The colonisation of the land mass we call Australia now, began with criminal actions, which  was taken by force and arms by the British crown, from the people already inhabiting this land.

Hardly what you would call noble or honourable actions of the crown.

Since the beginning the settlers who have setup government on this land have gone 'rogue', where in 1865 the 'honourable' crown (you know the ones who supported using force, firearms and violence against the inhabitants of this land) had enough and installed the Colonial Laws Validity Act.

Since old habits are hard to break, this action of going 'rouge' is still the primary method of governance over the good people of Australia.

A popular understanding of the term whistleblower would be that of a person who has seen, documented or experienced illegal or corrupt activities by people in that person's workplace be it in government or the corporate sector.

INSTEAD of focusing on the allegations, in Australia, the people in government and corporations threaten whistleblowers with either loss of their employment which flows on to career loss or with direct harm to their family members.

If that person is to get some sort of hush money, then there is a non disclosure agreement (NDA), which is not only hidden from public but also scrutiny therefore obscuring justice in the process, in effect a document which also supports the organisation's 'do no wrong' fallacy.

See article from 5 Apr 2018 by of the headline:

AFP raids Australian Tax Office whistleblower amid Four Corners investigation

A public servant turned whistleblower employed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has had his home raided by officers from the ATO and the Australian Federal Police on Wednesday morning, after speaking with reporters in a major joint Four Corners and Fairfax investigation into alleged abuse of power by the ATO.

Adelaide-based Richard Boyle, who has worked at the ATO as a debt collector since 2005, told the ABC his rental unit in suburban Edwardstown was raided by a team of four AFP officers accompanied by an ATO investigator.

"This is an astonishing use of public resources, to investigate someone who has passionately and with every fibre of my being tried to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations and to enforce taxpayers who are ripping the country off by not paying their fair share of tax," he said.

Mr Boyle said the officers arrived at his door about 8:00am.

He was still in his dressing gown and didn't have time to change.

He attempted to film the raid but the AFP officers seized his mobile phone, and the phone of his fiancee.

"They've spent the past couple of hours going through our drawers, going through our personal belongings and documents," he said.

The intervention by officers from the AFP and the ATO comes as the Four Corners program prepares to air its investigation into the extraordinary powers of the ATO.

The warrant specifically refers to Four Corners and Fairfax reporter Adele Ferguson, and alleges that Richard Boyle had illegally taken either originals or copies of taxpayer information, photos of ATO computer screens or emails.

Mr Boyle said there was some suggestion from the AFP and ATO officers at his home that he had committed a crime in speaking to the media.

"It's absolutely astonishing. I'm horrified that this organisation has these powers over the community and I think things need to change," he said.

Mr Boyle has had a series of previous run-ins with the ATO.

In 2016 he was formally reprimanded and had his salary docked, for accessing client records against ATO policy and against advice and cancelling interest charges imposed on taxpayers without ATO approval.

Mr Boyle told Four Corners and Fairfax he was only ever trying to assist those taxpayers.

He was suspended with pay last September over another alleged breach of the Public Service Code of Conduct.

The ATO tried to settle with him in February, offering him a payout and a statement of service, with no admission of liability.

He decided to knock it back to speak to Four Corners and Fairfax.

The Tax Office has since suspended him without pay and his future with the ATO still hangs in the balance.

In a statement, the ATO said protecting confidentiality was "critical for the integrity of Australia's tax and super systems".

"Today, swift action was taken, in the execution of a search warrant against an individual in Adelaide, to secure information which we believe was obtained contrary to our secrecy obligations," the statement said.

"The Commissioner is committed to doing everything possible to secure taxpayer information, and will pursue cases where taxpayer confidentiality has been compromised."

The ATO said there was an ongoing investigation with the AFP.

Four Corners and Fairfax reporter, Adele Ferguson's investigation into allegations of abuse of power by the ATO is due to air on Four Corners next Monday. (9th April 2018)

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