How Raff Ciccone voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce legislation to protect people who disclose information for the benefit of the public interest

Division Raff Ciccone Supporters vote Division outcome

22nd Jul 2019, 4:03 PM – Senate Documents - Commissioner of Taxation - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by South Australian Senator Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance), which means it failed.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that—

(a) on 12 October 2017, Mr Richard Boyle made a disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) as a former employee of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), alleging the ATO:

(i) had instructed employees to issue standard garnishee notices to seize funds from taxpayers' bank accounts without notice or consideration of their personal and business circumstances, and

(ii) in doing so, had required employees to engage in conduct that was unethical, unprofessional and against the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct;

(b) on 27 October 2017, the ATO decided not to further investigate Mr Boyle's disclosure on the basis that the information did not concern serious disclosable conduct as defined in the PID Act; and

(c) subsequent media inquiries found anomalies in the ATO's debt collection practices that appeared consistent with Mr Boyle's disclosure.

(2) That the Senate is of the opinion that examining the ATO's actions in relation to Mr Boyle's disclosure is consistent with the Senate's role in providing oversight of government administration.

(3) That the Senate orders the Commissioner of Taxation to provide all documents relating to the disclosure generated or received by Mr Boyle's supervisor, authorised officer and principal officer (as defined in the PID Act) including but not limited to notes, minutes, memoranda, letters, other external or internal correspondence, emails and/or Microsoft Office Communicator (MOC) conversations to the Economics Legislation Committee (the committee) by no later than 5 pm on 30 July 2019.

(4) That the committee, when it has considered the documents, report to the Senate as to whether the ATO's handling of disclosures by whistleblowers warrants further inquiry.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Jul 2019, 12:49 PM – Senate Committees - Joint Select Committee into the Public's Right to Know and Press Freedom - Appointment

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The same number of senators voted for and against the motion introduced by NSW Senator Kristina Keneally, which means that it failed. The motion related to setting up a joint select committee to inquire into and report on the appropriate balance between the public's right to know, the freedom of the press and Australia's national security.

Motion text

(1) That a joint select committee, to be known as the Joint Select Committee into the Public's Right to Know and Press Freedom, be established to inquire into and report on the appropriate balance between the public's right to know, the freedom of the press and Australia's national security, with particular reference to:

(a) disclosure and public reporting of sensitive and classified information, including the appropriate regime for warrants regarding journalists and media organisations and adequacy of existing legislation;

(b) the whistleblower protection regime and protections for public sector employees;

(c) the adequacy of referral practices of the Australian Government in relation to leaks of sensitive and classified information;

(d) appropriate culture, practice and leadership for Government and senior public employees;

(e) mechanisms to ensure that the Australian Federal Police have sufficient independence to effectively and impartially carry out their investigatory and law enforcement responsibilities in relation to politically sensitive matters; and

(f) any related matters.

(2) That the committee should provide an interim report by 19 September 2019 and a final report by 28 November 2019.

(3) That the committee consist of 8 members of the House of Representatives and 8 senators, as follows:

(a) 3 members of the House of Representatives nominated by the Government Whip or Whips;

(b) 4 members of the House of Representatives nominated by the Opposition Whip or Whips;

(c) 1 member of the House of Representatives nominated by the Member for Clark;

(d) 3 senators nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(e) 3 senators nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;

(f) 1 senator nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens; and

(g) 1 senator from Centre Alliance.

(4) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Government Whip in the House of Representatives, the Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator or member of the House of Representatives; and

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee.

(5) That 3 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee, provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one Government member of either House and one non-Government member of either House.

(6) That every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(7) That the members of the committee hold office as a joint select committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time.

(8) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(9) That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives or the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and as deputy chair one of the members nominated by Government Whip in the House of Representatives or the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

(10) That the deputy chair shall act chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(11) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(12) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

(13) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(14) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(15) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

(16) That the committee have power to adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(17) That a message be sent to the House of Representatives seeking its concurrence in this resolution.

Yes Yes Not passed

How "voted a mixture of for and against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 20

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 10 / 20 = 50%.

And then