The Integrity Commission’s focus has become more targeted due to the depth of understanding it has developed about misconduct risks in the Tasmanian public sector, CEO Richard Bingham says.
“Our work over many years has now given us insights that have enabled us to refine our focus to address areas of greatest need. This is reflected in strong public sector response to our programs,” he says.
The Commission experienced a high level of investigation and prevention activity in the past year, with complaint numbers increasing by over 50% from 2016–17, and more than double the number of face-to-face education sessions delivered and high levels of demand for online education programs.
“We tabled significant investigation reports and have worked closely, in particular, with TasTAFE and Glenorchy City Council to provide follow-up education and training that addresses issues that were identified.”
Mr Bingham says that the Commission has prioritised continuing misconduct risk identification, which will provide a vital base for future investigative and preventative work.
Highlights of the year include:
- Dealing with 193 misconduct complaints (446 allegations), compared with 126 complaints the previous year. The most common type of allegations were code of conduct breaches.
- Concluding 49 assessments of complaints and 12 investigations, including two own-motion investigations. Seven investigation reports or report summaries were published.
- Completion of a ground-breaking own-motion investigation into public sector management of misconduct. In response to findings, the Commission launched a new education program – Managing and Investigating Workplace Misconduct. It quickly become one of the most in-demand programs, with more than 146 employees from 22 organisations participating.
- Another new program, focusing on ethics for managers, has also experienced high levels of take-up across the State.
- Adoption of new monitoring procedures to address progress made by public sector organisations on recommendations made in investigation reports, as well as any action taken in response to complaint referrals.
- In addition to helping facilitate education sessions with each rotation of the Tasmania Police recruitment and sergeant qualifying program, the Commission, for the first time, ran education sessions for Tasmania Prison Service correctional officer recruits.
Mr Bingham says the Commission has also developed a more transparent approach, publishing regular online updates of progress on assessments and investigations, as well as including a greater level of detail about them in the annual report.
“We recognise we have an obligation to tell people about our work and we aim to share as much information as we can. However, we must balance that against the necessity to conduct investigations without prejudice and in accordance with principles of natural justice.”
Chief Executive Officer
18 October 2018
Manager Misconduct Prevention Education and Research
1300 720 289