Cabcharge’s ticket clipped by ACCC

The federal competition watchdog’s campaign to enforce fairer competition in Australia’s notoriously cloistered taxi industry has taken a significant step forward after dominant payments processing player Cabcharge finally accepted a court enforceable undertaking to let rival firms accept its cards (29 June 2015).

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Authorities investigate wide-spread privacy breaches

The Australian privacy commissioner has approached Optus and Telstra after both admitted passing customer phone numbers on to third parties without their knowledge (26 June 2015).

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Meanwhile, as part of a global investigation, the Australian Privacy Commissioner has found that Adobe Systems Software Ireland breached the Privacy Act 1988, following a cyber-attack that affected at least 38 million Adobe customers globally, including over 1.7 million Australians. Adobe failed to take reasonable steps to protect all of the personal information it held.

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It's in the bag: Foreign Bribery Probe

The Senate has just voted for an inquiry to improve laws against overseas corruption and bribery by Australians, which to-date has rarely resulted in convictions. The inquiry comes in the wake of high profile corruption scandals in the past decade (24 June 2015).

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Legislation to strip terrorists of citizenship

The Australian Government has formally introduced to parliament controversial amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 to ensure dual nationals who serve or fight for terrorist groups, or engage in terrorism-related conduct inspired by terrorist groups, automatically lose their Australian citizenship. The move has prompted responses from a number of sectors, including the Law Council of Australia, which has raised concerns around constitutionality and respect for the rule of law. Read the joint media release and LCA perspective below:

Legislation to strip terrorists of citizenship

Proposed citizenship revocation laws must abide with the Constitution and rule of law

Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference: APSACC 2015

The fifth Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC) will be held 17 to 19 November 2015 at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre, South Bank.

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Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: final report

Ken Wyatt, Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Parliament of Australia.

This final report on steps that can be taken to progress towards a successful referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition argues that the absence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (22 June 2015)

Read the full report here.

ANAO Report No 48: Limited Tender Procurement

The Australian National Audit Office has released a number of reports, including this one tabled on 10th June 2015 identifying some key deficiencies in procurement practices across a selection of Commonwealth agencies. The objective of the audit was to assess whether selected entities had appropriately justified the use of limited tender procurement and whether processes adopted met the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules including the consideration and achievement of value for money.

Read the full report here.

Cases

COMMISSIONER FOR SOCIAL HOUSING IN THE ACT v CROCKFORD & ANOR (Residential Tenancies) [2015] ACAT 31

Human Rights and the tribunal jurisdiction

The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) has confirmed in a recent case that Human Rights Act 2004 (HR Act) arguments can be made in that jurisdiction.

The case confirmed that ACT legislation should be interpreted to comply with human rights and that if the interpretation limits human rights, then, an analysis of the operation of s28 of the HR Act in relation to that limitation is required.

Section 28 provides that human rights may only be subjected to reasonable limits set by laws. To assess whether a limit is reasonable, all relevant factors must be considered, including those factors set out in the section.

Read the case here.