The email has been running hot
suggesting ongoing conflicts of interest and favourites from recent
history. Here are five additions from each category and please keep the
tips coming to [email protected]

Five ongoing conflicts of interest

Stephen Hollings: The
News Ltd executive is also chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulations
and is busily claiming there is no circulation rorting going on,
especially by his employer who controls almost 70% of Australian’s
metropolitan newspaper circulation.

John Pandazopoulos: Victoria’s
Gaming and Racing minister was in the Tabcorp tent as usual. He was
also on the Tabcorp table at the Cherie Blair dinner earlier this year.
Given Tabcorp’s wagering and gaming licences expire in 2012 and
negotiations for renewal will begin soon, the Minister really shouldn’t
be accepting anything from Tabcorp.

Public Service Association
of NSW: Claims to represent NSW public servants, but is run by Labor
Party appointees and cronies who often act with the government’s
interests in mind. How can you represent employees when you’re so tied
up with the employer?

Stuart Gregor: Recent column in the Sunday Telegraph’s
Sunday magazine was all about the Australian Hotel Beer Awards, about
which he writes in glowing terms. What he doesn’t say anywhere is that
the publicity for the event is handled by Liquid Ideas, owned by Stuart
Gregor.

Public company auditors:
Given the billions of
dollars made by auditors every year, there is a huge inherent conflict
in that they don’t want to upset the company they are auditing, for
fear of losing the lucrative gig. To remove the conflict, you really
should have ASIC appointing the auditors on the basis of the toughness
and independence they show to management.

Five favourite conflicts from the past

John Singleton:
Kerry Packer’s great mate joined the consortium that bought Network Ten
in 1992 and he attended board meetings for a while until it was decided
he was just too close to the Channel Nine owner and he quickly departed.

Richard Face:

Bob Carr’s Minister for Gaming and Racing was caned a couple of years
ago when he retired and then planned to work as a ‘consultant’ in the
same area. He even used Ministerial resources to help establish his
business and was damned in this ICAC report.

Stan Howard:
When National Textiles collapsed in 1999, enormous pressure was placed
on the Federal Government to bail out the workers who’d been left with
their entitlements at risk by a board led by the PM’s older brother,
Stan Howard. However, the PM’s involvement in the decision to throw
millions at the bailout was a clear conflict of interest.

David Flint: Being
interviewed by John Laws about the Republic at a time when the then
Australian Broadcasting Authority chairman was running the cash for
comment inquiry. Later revealed to have written several laudatory
letters to Alan Jones when the ABA was also investigating Jones over
his Telstra sponsorship deal.

Keith Murdoch: Rupert’s dad
thought it was okay to temporarily step aside as chief executive of the
Herald & Weekly Times and become Director-General of Information
during the WWII, even attending the War Cabinet and presiding over
censorship decisions. Sir Keith’s private purchases of stakes in
Queensland Press and News Ltd when the HWT should have taken the stakes
were also a massive conflict of interest.