National COVID-19 Commission chair Nev Power (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

As the secrecy of national cabinet decisions look set to be tested, an academic who raised serious concerns about the government’s highly secretive National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board has criticised efforts to address its conflicts of interest, saying they do nothing to improve transparency.

Elizabeth Hicks, a law academic at the University of Melbourne who wrote a policy brief last year scrutinising the commission's function, told Crikey its updated terms of reference were “window dressing”.

“There is still no transparent process for reporting conflicts,” she said.