Investigation Criticizes Australia’s Secret Ministries During Pandemic

Investigation Criticizes Australia’s Secret Ministries During Pandemic

Sydney (Australia), Nov 25 – The former Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, “undermined” democratic principles by secretly assuming five ministerial positions during the covid-19 pandemic, according to the conclusions published this Friday after an independent investigation.

However, Morrison, who lost his re-election in May, did not commit any illegality, acknowledges the investigation, by appointing himself and without notifying Parliament as head of the Ministries of Health, Finance, Interior, Treasury and Industry, Science, Energy and Resources between March 2020 and May 2021.

“The secrecy that surrounded them was corrosive to the confidence (of the population) in the Government,” highlights the investigation, commissioned in August by the current president, Anthony Albanese, to former judge Virginia Bell.

The report finds that the principles of responsible government were “fundamentally undermined” because Parliament, unaware of Morrison’s self-appointments, was unable to hold him to account.

In the document, the former High Court judge gave six recommendations for greater transparency, which includes the implementation of laws that require the publication of details about official appointments, among others.

“Swift implementation of these recommendations will ensure that the Australian public can have full confidence that this will not happen again,” Albanese said at a press conference after the report’s release.

Morrison previously defended that he adopted these exceptional measures in the framework of the fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

Although the former judge’s investigation highlights the differences between assuming Health and Finance portfolios, in March 2020 during the start of the pandemic, and ministries such as Treasury and Interior, in May 2021 when the country had already overcome two waves of the crisis. sanitary.

“Those appointments have little or no connection to the pandemic. Instead, Morrison’s appointment to manage those portfolios was to give him the ability to exercise certain statutory powers,” the report said, referring to the powers over Treasury and Inside.

The report also indicates that Morrison aspired, on an unspecified date, to occupy the Agriculture, Water and Environment portfolio, but did not specify his self-appointment.

The document emphasizes that despite the fact that these measures generate “mistrust”, the former president did not contravene any rule by relying on the Australian Constitution, which allows the governor general, David Hurley, to appoint the ministers recommended by the prime minister.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.