Watchdogs as satellites of parliament
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Australian legislation indicates a special relationship between Parliament and independent watchdogs such as the Auditor General and Ombudsman. These statutory provisions are reviewed and a new model conceptualizing watchdogs as satellites of Parliament is presented and assessed in the context of the debate about where these watchdogs fit in our system of government. The model assists consideration of the interdependence of Parliaments and watchdogs and tensions in the relationship. It is identified that giving primacy to the relationship with Parliament mitigates some risks and creates others, and that it provides a democratic legitimacy to the watchdogs. The article concludes that there can be benefits to the community where primacy of the role of Parliament is embedded in legislation.
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