Today we announce that the Government has appointed the Hon Virginia Bell AC to lead an Inquiry into the appointment of former Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, to administer departments other than the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and related matters.
The Solicitor General found that the principles of responsible government were fundamentally undermined by the actions of the former Morrison Government. The Government is holding the Inquiry to restore and strengthen public trust in our Australian democracy.
The Inquiry will examine and report on the facts and circumstances surrounding Mr Morrison’s appointments to five departments during 2020 and 2021 and the implications arising from them.
It will also examine and report on the practices and policies which apply to ministerial appointments and recommend any procedural or legislative changes which would provide greater transparency and accountability.
Ms Bell is eminently qualified to lead the Inquiry, having served on the High Court of Australia for 12 years, and before that, an extensive legal career including as judge of the NSW Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of NSW.
The Government expects those with knowledge of these events to willingly assist and provide information to the inquiry.
The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry are now available.
Ms Bell will report to the Prime Minister by Friday 25 November 2022.