Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Carter covers for Solid Energy

On March 7, Solid Energy CEO Garry Diack lied to the Commerce Select Committee by denying that former CEO Don Elder had offered to attend the select committee. It was an open and shut breach of Parliamentary Privilege, and one which needed to be punished in order to ensure that other CEOs do not also lie to Parliament. But Speaker David Carter has refused to forward the complaint to the Privileges Committee. His reason? He won't even give one.

This doesn't just strike at the heart of Parliament's ability to hold the state sector accountable; the later also strikes at one of our most fundamental constitutional conventions: that decision-makers (especially in quasi-judicial roles) must give reasons for their decisions. Carter is behaving like an autocrat here, someone who does not believe he is responsible to us or that his decisions can be judged by us. And that is simply not acceptable.