Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Public safety & conflict of interest cancel each other out

(Photos: Georgie Abbott, The Netherlands)


I can see a parallel between sentiments raised in last Friday's SMH editorial on 'public safety & the Game Council', and that of 'public safety & Big Helma.

As the SMH editor points out...

'...business regulators cannot be monopolies selling a product for profit...'

thus

'...anti-doping agencies cannot promote sports dietary supplements...' - period.

So how is it that Standards Australia (with their publisher SAI Global) is allowed to operate as the quintessential monopoly, blatantly promoting their commercial standards to every single helmet manufacturer in Australia who must purchase them if they plan on selling a helmet or two?

As the SMH ed goes on to say, it is not possible to represent the interests of commercial businesses whilst simultaneously representing the interests of public safety. Furthermore...

'...the Independent Commission Against Corruption has warned for decades that "the perception of a conflict of interests" within regulatory bodies "can be as damaging as an actual conflict, because it undermines public confidence in the intergrity of the organisation"'.

Back to the comparative bicycle parallel, and it's hard to take any solace from interminable helmet studies that have continuously trickled from UNSW primarily because it's hard to believe it can ever be possible to undertake independent research funded by the very government which passed the legislation all those decades ago.

Has it been truth that has been sought or more a 'desired prescription' for helmets & helmet law?

I read a warning in the tea-leaves of the SMH editorial last week...

...beware the temptation to be 'both regulator and promoter' - it's not worth the public safety risk.

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