An FOI request has revealed that on at least three occasions, in order to receive donations from multinational weapons company Lockheed Martin, the Australian War Memorial falsely represented its institutional status.
Lockheed Martin requires sponsorship recipients to certify their compliance with anti-corruption laws in and outside of the United States, and with internal Lockheed Martin anti-corruption and sponsorship policies.
In February 2018, November 2019, and April 2021, the AWM signed Lockheed Martin Certificates of Compliance attesting that the AWM was not an “agency, organisation, association, or instrumentality of any government” and not “otherwise owned, in whole or in part, or controlled by any government.”
The AWM is a Corporate Commonwealth Entity (CCE), an entity with a separate legal personality from the Commonwealth, but still a principal government body.
In correspondence with us, the AWM agreed that the memorial is part of the Australian Government, and partly owned by the Australian Government, but said that the question on the certificate was “answered in good faith”.
The AWM also argued that Lockheed Martin anti-corruption policy was “not applicable” to the memorial.
The purpose of anti-corruption policies is prevent corruption, bribery, and influence, as well as the appearance of corruption, bribery, and influence. Given that the heads of Army, Navy, and Air Force sit on the Council of the AWM, along with other high-level public officials with past and present connections to defence, a reasonable person would expect compliance with anti-corruption measures to be of the highest priority for the AWM Executive.
We’ve written to the Minister for Veterans Affairs asking for a review of all documentation related to donations from
multinational defence corporations, and action to improve anti-corruption practice at the Memorial.