Commonwealth Ombudsman investigating @AFPmedia’s handling of #Choppergate affair: @Jansant reports






The Commonwealth Ombudsman is investigating the Australian Federal Police (AFP) (@AFPmedia) over their handling of the Bronwyn Bishop MP, #Choppergate affair, after a complaint was lodged by No Fibs co-publisher, Tony Yegles (@geeksrulz). The Ombudsman probe will include: “the AFP’s use of discretion in relation to its application of the Minchin Protocol” “the AFP’s explanation to you of the reasons why your complaint has not been accepted as a complaint”. In November last year, the former Federal Parliamentary Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop MP, chartered a helicopter to fly from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fund-raiser, claiming the $5000 trip as official parliamentary business. The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop MP, […]






#choppergate ‘investigation’ Fact Check by @margokingston1






The AFP and the Department of Finance are playing pass-the-parcel on investigating the legality of Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter trip to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser. It’s a complicated game of obfuscation that counts on confusing voters. So here are the facts. 1. Applicability of the Minchin Protocol to the AFP When Labor and several members of the public referred the matter to the AFP for investigation it said no, because the Minchin Protocol demanded that Finance had carriage of such matters. Under pressure, the AFP altered its line to insist that it had “not refused to investigate”, had “sent these complaints to Finance for assessment” and “awaits advice from the Department of […]






The fruitless push for a Parliamentarians’ code of conduct






By Rose Iser 16 October 2013 The latest spate of entitlements scandals is unlikely to bring about a code of conduct for federal parliamentarians given that, for the past 40 years, multiple attempts to enact a code have failed. Since 1975, federal leaders and parliamentarians have investigated the possibility of a code of conduct, but reports and proposals have never resulted in a wide-ranging code covering the behaviour of MPs. In 1980, the House of Representatives noted a report from the Bowen Committee, chaired by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Sir Nigel Bowen, recommending changes to Standing Orders to enforce a code of conduct – a breach of which […]






How will Media, Finance and AFP handle the evidence that the PM is a cheat?






By Margo Kingston, 8 October, 2013 It looks like the Prime Minister is a serial cheat. It’s hard to imagine a bigger test of the integrity and fairness of our democratic institutions than that. Will the press gallery get forensic and press for answers from the PM and action from the authorities? Will the AFP investigate? Will the Finance Department audit his enormous expenses claims while in opposition to search for more rorting? The AFP chose to prosecute Peter Slipper for falsely claiming less than $1,000 for an alleged private tour of wineries. It has now been revealed that Tony Abbott falsely claimed more than $1600 to attend the wedding of […]






Is @TonyAbbottMHR really ‘volunteering’?






By Margo Kingston 15 July 2013 For as long as I’ve been on Twitter tweeps have questioned the correctness of Mr Abbott’s claiming travel allowance from taxpayers for his ‘volunteer’ activities. Just yesterday @phonytonyabbott posted a piece detailing his expenses for surfing, fun runs and cycling. I am advised that Mr Abbott can claim these activities as official business as the Leader of the Opposition. This is because for travel allowance, official business for office holders is very broad. Effectively he just has to do something for a community group and it can be argued that he is performing official business as LOTO. Even if someone raised it with the Finance […]






#Battlerort: Your guide to how Abbott charged taxpayers for his book tour






By Chris Smith, Citizen Journalist 12 July 2013 The Parliamentary Entitlements rules governing Abbott’s expenses claims There are several types of parliamentary entitlements involved in the #Battlerort story. The initial letter to Tony Abbott outlined three of these entitlements. The first, travel at Government expense, was at the time authorised under clause 2.1 of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2006/18. At the time Tony Abbott was a Shadow Minister, so he was entitled to the entitlements that a Shadow Minister and normal Member would receive. Clause 2.1 of the Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2006/18 allowed Senators and Members to access commercial transport such as flights, when travelling anywhere within Australia (excluding the external territories). […]






Twitter’s #Battlerort questions for @TonyAbbottMHR






Please add any additional questions into the comments sections. ABC Newcastle interviews Margo Kingston on Citizen Journalism   [View the story “#BattleRort The unanswered questions” on Storify] Read More: Fairfax: ‘Ashbygate’ saga pursued by internet-funded activists EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning – join the conversation in comments.






Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning






By Margo Kingston 9 July, 2013 Today’s original Abbott #BATTLERORT transcript was kindly transcribed by Dr Lachlan Hinds – @Doclach, and Brock Turner – @Turlow1. There are errors and lies throughout – have a go at finding them by reading the letters in EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book. Yesterday’s lie QUESTION: Did you claim travel expenses on your book tour? TONY ABBOTT: I did not. * (Transcript Source: Mr Abbott website) QUESTION: Mr Abbott, how is Peter Slipper incorrectly claiming $900 and offering to pay it back different from you incorrectly claiming $9000 worth of travel expenses and then paying it back? How […]






EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book






By Margo Kingston 6 July, 2013 The Opposition leader, Mr Abbott, was forced to repay taxpayers nearly $9,400 after receiving travel expenses to promote his book Battlelines in 2009. The repayment occurred after Mr Abbott publicly denied the allegation through a spokesman, who stated: “All travel undertaken by Mr Abbott has been within the entitlement. This is a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead.” Mr Glenn Milne raised the matter in an article in The Drum on 28 July, 2010 in which he calculated that Mr Abbott had ripped $6,651.96 off taxpayers for private expenses he incurred in promoting his book: “At the very least these expenses are politically awkward. […]






A familiar AFP smell over Slipper and #Ashby






Update 15 July, 2013 FINANCE STATEMENT ON SLIPPER SUMMONS: Pyne wrong on Lateline In the light of a media report this week which contradicted my report that someone other than the Finance Department referred the 2010 travel claim by Slipper to the AFP which resulted in his prosecution I emailed the Finance Department for clarification.This is their reply: UNCLASSIFIEDHi Margo,No, the Department of Finance and Deregulation did not refer this matter to the Australian Federal Police. The matter was separately referred to the Australian Federal Police by a third party. Regards, Tameena | Communications and Public Affairs * On Friday’s  Lateline, Mr Pyne stated that the Department of Finance had […]