This report is a summary of an own-motion investigation commenced by the Integrity Commission (the Commission) on 24 April 2019. Based on similar past complaints and other information obtained by the Commission, the Board of the Integrity Commission (the Board) determined there were ongoing misconduct risk issues relating to middle and supervisory management within a particular area, namely Facilities and Engineering, THS-NW, including the Director, Corporate Services. The Board thus resolved that the Commission investigate:
- possible misconduct by public officers in the Facilities and Engineering section of the North West region of the THS;
- the policies, practices and procedures of THS in relation to the possible misconduct; and
- any related matters.
The Commission subsequently investigated the complaint to determine the factual basis for any misconduct, as defined in the Integrity Commission Act 2009 (the IC Act). The investigation involved the use of coercive powers, including four notices to produce records, 21 notices to attend and give evidence, and four notices to produce information. Information was also provided without notice by 33 additional witnesses.
A report of the investigation was prepared by a Commission investigator and submitted to the Commission’s then Chief Executive Officer in accordance with section 55(1) of the IC Act on 10 December 2019. The investigator made findings of fact on the basis of the evidence obtained during the investigation.
On 3 February 2020, the Board considered the investigator's report and the accompanying report of the then Chief Executive Officer submitted in accordance with section 57(1) of the IC Act, and determined to refer the complaint and the investigation report to the Secretary of the Department of Health, for action. Subsequently, the Board approved this summary report, as being suitable for tabling in both Houses of Parliament. Procedural fairness was provided to all relevant parties as part of the Board’s decision-making process. The report was unable to be tabled sooner than present given the impacts of COVID-19.
This summary report does not reproduce all the detailed evidence outlined in the investigator's report, upon which the Board relied in makings its determinations. Apart from the main subject officer of the investigation, the report has been anonymised where the Board considered that it was in the public interest to do so. The principal factors which the Board had regard to in determining the format of this report are:
- meeting the objectives of the IC Act, in particular to enhance public confidence that misconduct by public officers is being appropriately investigated, and to support the educative, preventative and advisory roles of the Commission;
- the issues represent a continuation of the problems identified by the Commission in previous investigations, some of which are already in the public domain;
- it is not possible to anonymise fully the report, given the location on the north west coast, and the nature of the issues involved; and
- the matter involves a relatively senior public officer, and historically has impacted on a considerable number of past and present employees.
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