Attorney General Christian Porter has quashed any chance of ACT Policing being included in the territory's new integrity commission, reiterating the government's position despite a push from federal Labor MPs on Monday.
Canberra MPs Andrew Leigh and David Smith introduced legislation to include the territory's police force in the commission's remit on Monday, but there is no end to the stalemate in sight.
"As I have informed the ACT Government, it is neither necessary nor desirable for ACT Policing (which is part of the AFP) to be overseen by the ACT Integrity Commission," Mr Porter said on Monday.
"The AFP is already subject to robust internal and external integrity mechanisms and safeguards, including oversight by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ACLEI and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement."
"Any delineation between ACT Policing and the broader AFP would be legally and practically problematic," he said.
The ACT's integrity commission started receiving reports on December 1, but can't investigate complaints relating to the territory's police force. It is a contracted part of the Australian Federal Police, and federal bodies aren't included.
It is unlikely Dr Leigh and Mr Smith's bill will be further debated, as the government controls the floor of the House of Representatives.
"This ensures that policing services provided in the ACT have the appropriate integrity oversight, which territorians would expect to exist," Dr Leigh said in parliament.
Dr Leigh told reporters on Monday morning, "It shouldn't have had to come to this.
"The Morrison government should have been willing to work with the Barr government in order to make the necessary amendments so the ACT Integrity Commission can go ahead with full and proper powers, as other jurisdictions have."
ACT Policing and the Australian Federal Police Association have rejected the moves by the ACT government for local police officers to be covered by the territory's commission, arguing they are already subject to three oversight bodies.
Member for Bean David Smith said oversight of local policing by the federal Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity was problematic because only the responsible federal minister could initiate inquiries, not the responsible territory minister.
Dr Leigh and Mr Smith acknowledged the issues around multiple oversight bodies watching over the police force.
"I spent some considerable time representing members of the Australian Federal Police and I'm very aware of members' concerns around doubling up on inquiries and potential issues around jurisdiction," Mr Smith said.
"To this end, as the member for Fenner said, I'm encouraged to note that it is expected that the ACT integrity commission and ACLEI would settle a memorandum of understanding to ensure that cases are not pursued twice and avoid unnecessary demarcation issues."
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has been lobbying the federal government to change federal laws to allow the ACT police force to fall under the integrity commission's jurisdiction since 2018, when the bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison ruled out any changes last year.
"Any delineation between ACT Policing and the broader AFP would be legally and practically problematic," Mr Morrison said in March.