Thursday, July 24, 2014

A serial offender

So it wasn't just a holiday in Oz Claudette Hauiti tried to stick us with:

Outgoing National MP Claudette Hauiti admits using her parliamentary charge card to buy petrol for her personal car in a further breach of the rules on card use.

But she says she doesn't know how much in total she had to refund because she repaid small amounts repeatedly over the year in which she had spent outside the rules.

Ms Hauiti announced this week she would step down from Parliament, days after revelations she used the charge card for personal spending, including a $200 fee related to flights to Australia.

Again: if people in an employment situation repeatedly violated their expenses rules in this manner, despite being warned, they'd be fired and/or prosecuted. Shouldn't the same apply to MPs? But because they're effectively employing the people who are supposed to watch over them, there's not a hope. So instead we get a full-on coverup, where we're not even allowed to know how much she stole.

This is also a stellar example of why Parliamentary Services needs to be subject to the OIA: so there is transparency and public accountability in these sorts of cases. The public have made it crystal clear that we have no tolerance for thieving, rorting MPs. Every day MPs refuse to take that message to heart and legislate accordingly is a day when they earn their reputation.