Australia: Pork-barrelling ‘lacking merit’, but not corrupt, watchdog tells inquiry

The state’s corruption watchdog has given pork-barrelling a free pass in its submission to a NSW parliamentary inquiry into allegations of community grants rorting by the state government.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption said while it received complaints about the practice, favouring marginal seats and certain electorates or expanding a grants scheme to pursue a political objective did not amount to misconduct.

But the oversight body warned that when MPs became involved in determining successful grant applicants they risked policy being influenced by political loyalties.

“Of course, some citizens view pork-barrelling as corrupt, or at least lacking in merit, and politicians are expected to face the resulting political consequences,” the ICAC said in a submission forwarded by its Chief Commissioner, Peter Hall, QC.

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