Ultra Vires: Ombudsman asked to investigate AFP refusal to investigate 144 rorting MPs and Tony Abbott’s unreported Breaching Quota fatalities.

Craig Thomson may be in hot water but he could soon find the tub crowded. In 2009, theFederal Police refused to investigate 144 Coalition and ALP MPs who had also allegedly ripped off money to pay for their own election campaigns – a coll $4,64 MILLION, an amount that makes Mr Thomson’s alleged $70,00 ‘dip’ seem like small very change.A preliminary complaint to the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman has been lodged by email asking the Ombudsman to look into the refusal of the feral Federal Police to investigate several possible crimes involving our federal politicians:

In September 2009 the Federal Police refused to investigate the $4.64 Milllion rip-off discovered by the Audtor-general because, believe it or not, it had been:

“…the subject of political debate and inquiry.”

(That’s right. Our ‘sticky fingers in the till’ politicians had talked it over and so the AFP was not going to investigate! Can you image if they applied that solution to 144 welfare recipients caught ripping off $4.64 Million?)

However, on 11th May 2012, on an pre-recorded ABC AM broadcast at 8.15am on ABC Radio 891, a government minister, Senator Penny Wong, made the following statement: “Politicians are not (the) judge and jury on these matters.”

 Amazing isn’t it? Talk about double standards:

When the loss of Craig Thomson can now bring down the Gillard Government, we see a big backflip. What was just fine in September 2009 is now not okay! Can you believe that?

The legal term for such a shonky decision is “Ultra Vires”, a lawyer’s way of saying that the 2009 AFP decision was illegal; that is the point that I make in this tiny segment of what is shaping up to be 200 page complaint.

Long-winded a susual, my ‘short complaint’ is set out below and highlights the double standards of the AFP in refusing to investigate any alleged rorting or illegal activity that involves just Coalition MPs. (Coalition and ALP MPs were both in on the 2009 rorting so that meant that the ALP MPs were safe – the AFP could not just investigate them and ignore Coalition rorters!)

If the AFP are only investigating ALP MPs to bring down a government, then we have a real probl;em with our democracy.

Trish Draper admitted ripping of her travel allawance.

The following complaint is an extract from a far larger complaint that deals with issues that former a much larger ‘gestalt’ than the issues set out below. I am still some weeks away from completing the draft of the full complaint; however, current events are snowballing at a rate that far exceeds my capability to two-finger type out my complain and I am therefore submitting this complaint as a matter of national interest. My full complaint will be lodged with your office once it is complete.

Please note that the email from Federal Agent Pearce (below) was received on 14 September 2010 and the “2004” reference in the email refers to the now secretly classified confidential July 7th 2004 decision by the Australian Federal Police not to investigate the Trish Draper ‘Travelgate’ rort or the ‘Quotagate’ (Performance Indicator Targets) fatalities that resulted from the Howard Government’s highly illegal enforcement of Performance Indicator Targets. These were first made public by Cheryl Kernot MP in her June 27th 2000 press release. (I say ’illegal’ because of Ultra Vires issues, Mens rea and Criminal Intent to defraud, regardless of the humanitarian consequences of this activity, i.e. foreseeable fatalities.)

  1. It is my contention that the July 2004 and September 2009 decisions made by the AFP were Broad Ultra Vires decisions that ignored the constitutional provision that the law id binding on the people of Australia and are therefore Ultra Vires.
  2. It is also my deep concern that the AFP has refused to investigate rorting incidents that may have involved Coalition MPS but is having no such inhibitions in investigating an ALP MP, i.e. Craig Thomson. That the AFP may be involved in such partisan determinations as to who gets investigated is a matter of grave concern.
  3. The possibility of such partisan actions by the AFP increases the degree of probability that in 2004 the AFP and the Howard Government really did do a ‘dirty deal’, i.e. no investigation of ‘Travelgate’ or ‘Quotagate’ and other very sensitive issues in exchange for the draconian police powers contained in the Anti-Terrorism Bill #2.
  4. Such a deal would mean that this legislation was literally the proceeds of a crime and that persons charged and convicted under this legislation have been wrongfully convicted, e.g. Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, Saney Edoe Aweys and Nayef el Sayed.

It is my contention that this complaint is neither frivolous nor spurious and that the issues raised need to be investigated as a matter of the utmost urgency.

“…the subject of political debate and inquiry.”

Point# 13.6:    “Travelgate” and “Quotagate”, yet more  “errors of fact, distortions of the truth.”

As the following examples reveals, Entrenched Systemic Bias against the unemployed and others on a welfare benefits extends to the way in which Federal criminal laws are applied:  The Speaker in the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, gets to keep his $323,750 a year pay and perks of far greater value even though he faces serious charges that have forced him to stand down.

In August 2000, Trish Draper left her defacto spouse at home to look after her four children whilst she went on a ‘fact finding’ trip to Europe taking with her a young gentleman that she had (allegedly) met just a few months earlier. In 2004, a sacked officer worker provided SAS 7 with a copy of her travel claim which revealed that she had unlawfully claimed the young gentleman’s travel costs on the false basis that he was her defacto spouse.

Although it was manifestly obvious that Ms Draper had Defrauded the Commonwealth by obtaining a (travel allowance) benefit by deception, i.e. falsely claiming that her travel companion was her defacto spouse, the Australian Federal Police refused to investigate her false travel claim citing “gravity/sensitivity”. Because John Howard (allegedly) knew of the false travel claim and had failed to report Ms Draper’s action to the Federal Police, charging Ms Draper with fraud would have also meant charging John Howard as An Accessory After the Fact! Hence the refusal to investigate Ms Draper even though a violation of federal laws had occurred.

10 Prosecutions a day.

At the same time, the AFP flatly refused to investigate “Travelgate”, they subsequently out-posted ten Federal Police officers to ‘assist’ Centrelink to achieve 10 prosecutions of welfare recipients per day!

Out-posting ten police officers to work with Centrelink whilst refusing to investigate the actions of Trish Draper in the ‘Travelgate’ scandal was a clear case of Ultra Vires (Broad) for it deliberately undermined the Rule of Law by showing blatant preferential treatment to the Prime Minister and one of his ‘Golden Girls’. This blatantly political decision and a similar decision made by the Federal Police in September 2009 must be overturned.

But it is not likely to happen because of pressure from SAS 7 which had a copy of the AFP decision, ‘the Denley Letter’, way back in August 2004, 15 months BEFORE this letter was secretly classified as confidential by a Senate Committee; SAS 7’s response to the AFP decision?  I’m still waiting?

Point# 13.7:    “Perksgate”; yes still more “errors of fact, distortions of the truth.”

“As elected officials holding public office, Parliamentarians are expected to act with integrity in accordance with the public trust placed in them.” (Page 12, Auditor-General’s Report No.3 2009-10. Audit Report – Administration of Parliamentarians’)

Entitlements by the Department of Finance and Regulation.

In 2009, the Auditor-General identified massive rorting of the Parliamentary Entitlements Fund that involved 144 federal MPs and $4.64 million. The above statement by the Auditor-General is a truly remarkable expression of his outrage; the phrase ”expected to act with integrity” was a polite, bureaucratic way of calling the members of Federal Parliament ‘a bunch of thieves’. “… expected to act” was clear statement that federal MPs were NOT acting with integrity.

Below is a ‘cut and paste’ copy of a response sent by email to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, requesting that the MPs involved in the “Perksgate” fraud be investigated and charges if they had committed fraud.

Good afternoon Mr Medlicott,

I refer to your correspondence dated 11 September 2009 in respect to ‘Perksgate’.

The AFP Operations Coordination Centre Client Liaison Team assess correspondence from the public taking into account a number of faccuseds including the gravity/sensitivity of the matter, the current investigational workload and whether Commonwealth laws have been breached. Each case is assessed and a decision is made as to the appropriate response.

The assessment process of your matter included considerations that you are onforwarding information which you have apparently seen in the media and which has been the subject of political debate and inquiry. As you yourself identify, this matter has been the subject of an Auditor-General report. Where matters are the subject of an Auditor-General investigation it is not necessary for members of the public to advise the AFP of this; government protocols exist for this purpose.

As per previous advice to you in July 2004, the AFP will not accept matters for investigation on the basis of third hand correspondence of matters in the public domain.

Further correspondence from you will be recorded by the AFP for future reference however no response will be provided.

Yours sincerely,

FEDERAL AGENT JEFF PEARCE
CLIENT LIAISON – OPERATIONS COORDINATION CENTRE
CANBERRA OFFICEwww.afp.gov.au

As the reply from Federal Agent Pearce makes clear, once again the Federal Police have refused to investigate MP rorting but this time, apart from “gravity/sensitivity” there a few new Ultra Vires twists in the excuses offered.

“…the subject of political debate and inquiry.”

Effectively, what Federal Agent Pearce was saying was that because the thieves and their more honest colleagues had discussed in Federal Parliament the theft of $4.64 million in “parliamentary entitlements” to which they were actually NOT entitled, the Federal Police didn’t need to investigate?

Would any ‘ordinary, reasonable person’  be ‘okay’ with that decision?  Check the correspondence for the ACMA investigators; they had no problems with it which I find to be a most unreasonable decision on the part of federal investigators, i.e. a heavily biased decision.

The Federal Police did not apply the same ‘hands-off’ policy when it came to the issue of alleged welfare entitlements fraud. Imagine if  this scenario was used by the AFP to deal with alleged welfare rorting:

  1. 144 welfare recipients who have been officially identified as having ripped off a total of $4.64 million in Commonwealth funds are placed in an auditorium with 82 welfare recipients who are not know to have defrauded the Commonwealth by obtaining a benefit by deception.
  2. The 226 people in the room debate the issue of ripping off the government with false claims and finally agree that defrauded the Commonwealth by obtaining a benefit by deception is wrong and all agree, whether innocent or guilty, not to do it again.
  3. Once the meeting is over, the Federal Police decide that no further action is required.

Would the general public agree that all welfare rorting activities should be resolved this way?

  1. The obvious answer to that question is a resounding NO WAY!
  2. Given the previous examples by Samantha Maiden, David Penberthy, and Hank Jongen’s “we will get you” statement on SAS 7’s Today Tonight program, the media would quickly provoke a storm of public outrage.
  3. And yet the Federal Police decided that this was an acceptable solution when it is highly paid federal politicians!
  4. Clearly, when it came to enforcing the law, the Federal Police have two different sets of standards to work with; one for politicians who rort and another for everyone else.

“… you are onforwarding information which you have apparently seen in the media” The mass media was well aware of this rorting but did David Penberthy start referring to MPs as cheats and bludgers?

After the Anti-Terrorism Bill #2 was passed into law, the Howard Government spent millions of dollars promoting this legislation with a “See some, hear some, say something” campaign. (Do you still have your fridge magnet?)

  1. When it comes to reporting crime under the “See some, hear some, say something” rules, the rime is the primary issue It is truly a sad reflection upon the Federal Police, that even when the fraud was reported by the national media, the Federal Police failed to show some initiative and apply the same rules that apply when an anonymous tip-off is received on Centrelink’s hotline.

“government protocols”. – This is an absolute disgrace; Ultra Vires at its worst!

  1. Since when do the accused get to decide whether or not they will be investigated for possibly defrauding the Commonwealth by obtaining a benefit by deception?
  2. Is this option available to welfare recipients?
  3. No it is not, and it should therefore not be an ‘exclusive privilege or power’ that can used by politicians to obstruct justice in order to avoid accountability for their crimes.
  4. The “government protocols” statement is another Ultra Vires decision for paragraph 5 of the Constitution Act states:

Operation of the constitution and laws.

(Paragraph 5) This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything  in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in  force on all British ships, (etc.)

  1. There are no ‘ifs’, ‘buts’, or any other exceptions; all laws are literally “binding on the people.”
  2. Since when have politicians not been classified as “people”?
  3. The refusal (twice) by the AFP to investigate federal politicians who may have defrauded the Commonwealth by obtaining a benefit by deception was an Ultra Vires decision that effectively undermined the Rule of Law.
  4. So, what could be worse than refusing to investigate federal politicians who rort their taxpayer funded ‘entitlements’? How about the refusal to investigate Breaching Quota fatalities?
  • Why the AFP leadership made these decisions is a major issue in itself. It is possible that the AFP and the Howard Government did a ‘dirty deal’, i.e. no investigation of the ‘Travelgate’ fraud and the ‘Quotagate’ murders in exchange for the draconian police powers contained in the Anti-Terrorism Bill #2 legislation; is this why there was no investigation in either 2004 or 2009?
  • The possibility of such a deal is a major Rule of Law issue for it would mean that the legislation is literally the proceeds of a crime and is therefore unlawful.
  • The most immediate and direct implication of that is that the convictions of three alleged terrorist plotters, Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, Saney Edoe Aweys and Nayef el Sayed, may well be  legally invalid and thus might be overturned upon appeal. As a consequence, the information provided in this complaint will be provided to those gentlemen or to persons who may be acting on their behalf so that this option can at least be evaluated.

 In September 2009, when Agent Pearce sent this email, the Fair Work Australia investigation of the Health Services Union and former senior administrators such as Craig Thomson had already been under way for six months. So, while one federal investigative agency was willing to address the issue of corruption, even when federal politicians were involved, the Federal Police were maintaining a hands-of policy.

  1. On 7th May 2012, The Senate released Fair Work Australia’s 1,100 page report into the HSU investigation. The report found “181 contraventions of rules and legislation” by union officials include a number by Mr Thomson that involved the expenditure of union funds on prostitutes.
  2. Compare the FWA response to the Federal Police response:
  3. Bernadette O’Neill asked lawyers to begin proceedings in the Federal Court. She said the FWA investigation revealed an organisation that abjectly failed to have adequate governance arrangements in place to protect union members’ funds against misuse.
  4. “I have decided that the public interest strongly favours acting wherever possible to ensure that organisations and their officers and employees are properly held to account for the expenditure of the union’s funds.” Ms O’Neill said in a statement.
  5. It is quite clear that the Australian Federal Police did not share Ms O’Neill’s belief “that wherever possible to ensure that organisations and their officers and employees are properly held to account for the expenditure of the organization’s funds.”

It is my contention that Ms Neill’s statement the FWA report underscores the fact that the Australian Federal Police decisions in 2004 and 2009 were Broad Ultra Vires decisions that merely served to undermine the Rule of Law. This viewpoint is supported by events which are occurring in ‘real-time’, i.e faster than I can type up this complaint.

Point# 13.7.1  More on Federal Agent Pearce’s statement “…the subject of political debate and inquiry.”

With the Gillard Government clinging to power by such a narrow margin and in grave danger of being swept from office if Craig Thomson is prosecuted and convicted of some of the allegations contained in the FWA report, on the 10th May 2012, Tony Abbott expressed the viewpoint that he show be the Prime Minister “now”.  This viewpoint totally ignores the fact that Craig Thomson has the Presumption of Innocence until proven guilty in a court of law.  In addition, the constitution requires that an MP be convicted of a crime that results in a penalty of incarceration for a period of more than one year being imposed by the presiding court.

  1. The relevance of Mr Abbott’s statements In regard to this complaint is Federal Agent Pearce’s statement that “…the subject of political debate and inquiry” .
  2. In a recorded interview that was broadcast on ABC Radio 891 at approximately 8.15 a.m. on Friday 11th May 2012, a government minister, Senator Penny Wong, made the following statement:
  3. “Politicians are not (the) judge and jury on these matters.”
  4. This statement by Senator Wong completely repudiates federal Agent Pearce’s statement, “…the subject of political debate and inquiry.”
  5. Now that it is clear case of ‘If Craig Thomson goes, so goes the Gillard Government’, the opinions of federal opposition members on matters involving alleged violations of the law by members of the Federal Government does not count. To say that there is a massive amount of hypocrisy in Senator Wong viewpoint is an understatement!
  6. However, the most critical point is that Senator Wong’s comment reinforces the point that the 2009 was an Ultra Vires decision that, as a matter of the utmost urgency, must be overturned.
  7. Adding urgency to this is the fact that the Auditor-General’s Report No.3, 2009-10. Audit Report – Administration of Parliamentarians’ Entitlements by the Department of Finance and Regulation, dealt with the issue of not one, but 144 members of Federal Parliament, i.e. 56% of members.

Point# 13.7.2  Even more on “…the subject of political debate and inquiry.”

Many of the 56% of members of Federal Parliament involved in the 2009 “Perksgate” rort are still  members of parliament!

Craig Thomson’s alleged fraud of $70,000 of HSU funds to finance his 2007 election campaign is an activity that is wrong and merits both investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution.

  1. To any ‘ordinary, reasonable person’, e.g. me, simple common sense, (‘worldly experience’), it is manifestly obvious that the ‘Perksgate’ rort needs to be dealt with in precisely the same manner.
  2. If this does not occur it will represent a gross travesty of Justice for Craig Thomson and any other person accused and/or convicted of obtaining money  or benefits fraudulently, i.e. Centrelink’s well advertised prosecution of 10 welfare recipients per day.
  3. Equally important, Tony Abbott’s claim that he should be the Prime Minister ‘now’ falls in a big hole for two key reasons.
  4. If the Coalition and ALP members of parliament who were involved in the ‘Perksgate’ rort are also prosecuted and convicted, there will probably be a dramatic change in the balance of power in the Federal Parliament.
  5. Indeed, it is highly probable that the Governor-General may have no option but to dissolve the parliament and leave it up to the voters to decide who will be the next Prime Minister.
  6. Implicit in ‘Perksgate’ is the issue of what, if anything, did Tony Abbott know about the alleged rorting of his Coalition peers. If he knew, it not a case of bad governance on his part; rather it raises the issue of whether or not he is “An accessory after the fact to the defrauding of the Commonwealth by obtaining a benefit by deception.”

Point# 13.7.3  “Busted”: The SAS 7 complaint and ‘Perksgate’.

Craig Thomson’s predicament is rating intensive coverage by the media at the moment but the 2004 refusal of the Federal Police to investigate ‘Travelgate’ and the ‘Quotagate’ fatalities never rated a mention by SAS 7 and most other media agencies. Ditto for the refusal of the AFP to investigate the ‘Perksgate’ rorting.

  1. However, as SAS 7 made quite clear with its “Busted” segment which was broadcast on 2nd June  2011 that  “strongly suggested that there is a significant degree of rorting in the disability pension scheme”,  the station had no problems ignoring the far more important issues of possibility of massive rorting and  corruption by members of Federal Parliament.
  2. Principle #2 in the 2011 Media Convergence Review Framing Paper states, “The communications and media market should be innovative and competitive while still ensuring outcomes in the interests of the Australian public.” So how exactly does dumping on disability pensioners whilst ignoring the fact that the Federal Police refused to investigate the 144 members of Federal Parliament who had allegedly ripped of $4.64 Million of taxpayers money constitute ”ensuring outcomes in the interests of the Australian public?”
  3. Why was SAS 7 being so selective in its editorial policy? Was it ignoring its responsibility, i.e.  the interests of the Australian public in order to protect Coalition MPs who had rorted the system?

Perhaps blinded by his own self-delusional image of his political magnificence, Tony Abbott is of the view that he should be the Prime Minister ‘now’.

However, his own track record as a former Employment Minister seriously calls into question his credentials for this job. During the 1998-2003 period that he was the Employment Minister:

  1. He never reported a single Breaching fatality but was happy to point the finger at Peter Garrett for doing the same thing.
  2. Is linked to the performance Indicator target quotas reported by Cheryl Kernot and confirmed by some Centrelink staff who testified at the Independent Pearce Inquiry.
  3. After accidentally helping to officially define Breaching as a criminally reckless act of endangerment that involved malicious aforethought, (Mens rea) he failed to inform the Federal Parliament of Breaching fatalities when supporting a doubling of Breaching penalties to 26 weeks.
  4. As the Opposition leader he has pressured the Gillard Government into introducing tough news laws, of extremely dubious constitutional legality, for the purpose of making life harder for our nation’s real Aussie Battlers who struggle to survive on $250 a week.

My professional teaching qualifications to not legally allow me to make a psychological assessment of Tony Abbott’s actions in regard to his hard-line attitude to welfare recipients. However, as what the courts would define as an “ordinary, reasonable person”, I am genuinely concerned that his lack of concern for the humanitarian consequences of his recklessly dangerous, political ideology driven welfare Breaching policies, e.g. his apparently amoral lack of concern for fatalities caused by the issuing of 346,078 Breaches in FY 2000-01, is symptomatic of a person who is a Sociopath.

There are no laws against being a Sociopath; society is full of them. However, if he is a Sociopath, then voters need to know this so that informed decisions about who is fit to the nation’s next Prime Minister can be made by the national electorate BEFORE they vote in the next election!

As a direct consequence, it is a vital matter of national interest that the refusal of the AFP to investigate ‘Quotagate’ now needs very close scrutiny as is the possibility that the two Senate ‘don’t copy, don’t distribute’ suppression orders (appended) were not covered by parliamentary privilege but were instead Ultra Vires attempts to Pervert the Course of Justice by continuing to conceal breaching fatalities, especially those caused by the Performance Indicator Target quotas first reported by Cheryl Kernot, and fatalities triggered rorting by Job Network agencies in 1998. (The Great Australian Job Network Rort, first predicted by ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien when he interviewed Senator Vanstone just prior to the May 1998 introduction of the Job Network.

“Centrelink does not collect ‘Post Breaching Terminal Outcome Statistics’ and is therefore unable to assist with your request for this information.” The deliberate failure of Centrelink officials to release the data on all post-Breaching fatalities is a major reason why there is currently no public awareness of Breaching fatalities. The public release of this data is critical to the issue of Accountability, be it political, criminal or civil accountability.

This secretly classified information must be made public ‘now’.

  • Submission 287 to the Anti-Terrorism Bill #2 inquiry n November 2005 is officially listed as “Not yet available” on the website listing for submissions to this inquiry. However, as the appended file reveals, it is classified as confidential

The Term of Reference #3 for the February 2010 inquiry into the four ‘Roofgate’ fatalities was “Any other matters.”  This politically motivated, muck-raking term of reference opened the door to submissions that the Opposition dominated committee most definitely did not the public to know about, i.e.:

  1.  Any other fatalities;
  2. Caused by any other fraud;
  3. In any other government program;
  4. Run by any other government agency;
  5. Under any other government minister;
  6. Under the leadership of any other Prime Minister.

 What was good for the goose, i.e. Peter Garrett, was also good for the gander, Tony Abbott, but this Opposition dominated, i.e. politically biased, committee did not appear to have been after the truth.

The excuse that my submission was ‘outside the terms of reference for the inquiry’ was nothing more than a shallow, ostensible excuse, i.e. a deliberate lie, that was used to justify throwing my submission overboard so that Tony Abbott’s ministerial role and responsibility for any fatalities caused by the implementation of Performance Indicator Targets would not be revealed.

 Does that constitute ‘A criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice’ if the Howard Government’s alleged enforcement Performance Indicator Target quotas caused any fatalities? I do not know the answer to that question; I just know that as a matter of the utmost urgency, it is the national interest that the questions raised in this complaint must be answered impartially, objectively and publically.

 R.M.

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