Crimes committed by those at the top of the corporate (and political) hierarchy are routinely ignored or brushed under the carpet and Australia governments and the various regulatory authorities have failed to take action against increasingly egregious and escalating levels of unlawful and criminal conduct by corporations and business.
One submission was to an Australian Senate Inquiry into Penalties for White Collar Crime (which has since lapsed because of the government's dissolution of both houses.) My submission is available here as Submission No 18 under the banner of the Nemesis Project which I coordinate.
The second submission was to the Federal Attorney's General's public consultation on Deferred Prosecution Agreements for corporate and business crime (submission is not yet publicly available but will be here).
- Over recent decades legal and regulatory systems have been dismantled or loosened to remove constraints against corporate and investor profit-making and profit-taking.
- Corporate and white-collar crime is traceable to a gross failure of the law. Legal constraints have been cast aside or not applied to their fullest. Corporations and business groups have worked to limit the effectiveness of efforts to stamp out corporate crime. They make it more difficult to prosecute crimes.
- Corporations and business have actively subverted the law, as well as government regulation and ethical standards, in order to maximize their profits and ensure that resources flow to them. There has been a pervasive legal and political failure to control unlawful conduct by corporations and business.
- For decades, the regulatory authorities have failed to investigate and take action against corporate and white collar crimes. Governments, corporate regulators and law enforcement authorities and politicians have been unwilling to take serious action against corporate criminals who knowingly swindle and harm ordinary Australians.
- The dominant response to corporate and business offending has been regulation rooted in co-operation. These strategies work predominantly to the advantage of powerful corporate and business interests.
- Budget cuts enacted by the current government have compromised the ability to investigate corporate wrongdoing.
- There are hundreds of cases against corporations and business being pursued by Australian regulators each year, however progress is seriously impaired by the lack of staffing and resources.
- There are fewer regulators ‘patrolling the corporate beat’ in Australia with government agencies responsible for monitoring corporate wrongdoing and malfeasance having their staffing cut between 14-16% since the 2013-14 Budget.