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This page contains the following report summaries:

Report 2 of 2021 summary

Description

A review of Tasmania Police's new conduct and complaint management policy, Abacus.

Cover image of report 2 of 2021

Executive summary

Police are equipped with broad powers to enable them to enforce the law.

The Integrity Commission (the Commission) provides independent oversight of police. This review is part of the Commission’s role in providing independent oversight of police. It is a review of Tasmania Police’s new conduct and complaint management policy, named ‘Abacus’.

Abacus was adopted in early 2018, following a joint review of the previous policy between Tasmania Police and the Commission. This review of Abacus included:

  • a review of the policy Abacus
  • obtaining input, as far as we were able, from key stakeholders, including meetings with Tasmania Police and the Police Association of Tasmania
  • a sample audit of 30 files, and
  • collecting statistics from Tasmania Police.

The review has found that, overall, Abacus is working as intended. In particular:

  • timeliness in managing matters has continued to improve
  • in nearly all cases, there was adequate and appropriate contact with police officers and complainants
  • Tasmania Police adequately and appropriately investigated nearly all aspects of all files
  • in most cases, findings and outcomes were adequate and appropriate.

Related content: Media release

Report 1 of 2021 summary

Description

Summary of an investigation into allegations of misconduct by the Work Health and Safety Regulator, Government Ministers and ministerial staff.

Report 1 of 2021

Executive summary

This is a summary report of an investigation by the Integrity Commission Tasmania of the circumstances surrounding the serving of a prohibition notice on the Bob Brown Foundation, by the Work Health and Safety Regulator.

The Work Health and Safety Regulator is a statutory role, independent of the executive government. The Regulator works with WorkSafe Tasmania to oversight the state’s work health and safety.

In early 2020, the then Regulator, Mark Cocker, served a wide-ranging prohibition notice on a not- for-profit group protesting forestry activity, the Bob Brown Foundation. The notice required the Foundation to cease protest activity throughout Tasmania.

The nature of the notice, and public commentary and actions, led to perceptions that the Regulator had not acted with independence from the Government. Two complaints were made to the Commission, triggering an investigation. The investigation covered a number of high misconduct risk areas, including contact between a lobbyist, Government and statutory officers.

The Integrity Commission has found that, regardless of whether it was the best decision, there were legal and proper motives for the notice served on the Foundation. No Government member, or ministerial staffer, pressured the Regulator to serve the notice. However, by the time the notice was served, the Regulator had been the subject of sustained lobbying by a private citizen for nearly two years.

All public officers involved in this matter respected the roles of other public officers.

This report sets out the details of events, so that the public can see what occurred, and have confidence that the alleged misconduct has been appropriately investigated. It also serves as a lesson for public officers who may face similar circumstances in the future, to ensure that they conduct themselves with a similar level of respect for the independent roles of other public officers, and for their own office.

Related content: Media release

This page was last updated on 04 Mar 2022.