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Introduction

Investigation summaries are presented individually in this section to improve accessibility, transparency, and convenience for the community.

Investigation Cathedral

cover of inverstigation catherdal summary

Description

As part of our oversight of police misconduct, we investigated the policies, practices and procedures of Tasmania Police relating to unauthorised access to and misuse of information by officers.

The investigation found that options for prosecuting serious information abuse by public sector employees in Tasmania are more limited than in other jurisdictions. We have recommended that certain offences be reviewed...

Sector: Tasmanian State Service
Respondent level: Public officers
Misconduct risk(s): Misuse of work information
Outcome: Referred to the Premier for action; report published in the public interest

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Investigation Direction

Image of investigation direction

Description

In 2015, the Glenorchy City Council Board of Inquiry (the BoI) commenced a wide- ranging investigation into the governance and statutory functions of the council.

A complaint received by the Commission alleged that the BoI had failed to conduct itself in a fair, honest and competent way and raised concerns about how the BoI obtained evidence and the conclusions it drew from that evidence.

Our investigation found no evidence to suggest that the BoI was biased or unfair in the conduct of its inquiry. Further, we found the draft and final reports had a sound evidentiary basis for the conclusions and findings made.

Sector: Local government
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Conflict of interest
Outcome: Dismissed - report released in the public interest

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Investigation Esperance

Investigation Esperance summary

Description

An anonymous complaint alleged a specific instance of serious misconduct by a senior public officer and other inappropriate behaviour. The matter had been reported to a Head of Agency, yet no action had been taken.

Our investigation found that the misconduct had occurred but that in all circumstances, the matter had been handled appropriately. We found that the organisation’s records relating to both the reports of and response to the person’s behaviour were inadequate.

Sector: Tasmanian State Service
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Sexual harassment
Outcome: Referred to organisation for action

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Investigation Hugel

Investigation Hugel summary

Description

An anonymous complaint alleged a councillor had claimed reimbursement of expenses in circumstances where there was no entitlement—this related to a time when the councillor was not engaged in Council business.

Our investigation identified that councillors at the particular Council are entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses in accordance with a Council policy adopted under schedule 5 of the Local Government Act 1993. The particular arrangement that was established to manage the councillor’s expenses did not breach the entitlement to reimbursement of ‘reasonable expenses’.

The investigation also found that the councillor had used Council resources appropriately and had complied with the relevant council policy.

Sector: Local government
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Misuse of public resources
Outcome: Dismissed

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Investigation Jukes

Investigation Jukes summary

Description

We received an allegation that two public officers failed to declare and manage a conflict of interest arising from their association with the directors of a company tendering for a contract to manage a public facility.

The investigation found no evidence to support the allegations. On the contrary, the evidence indicated that the organisation handled the procurement well and had recognised and managed potential conflicts appropriately.

Sector: Local government
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Conflict of interest
Outcome: Dismissed – no report tabled in Parliament

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Investigation Junction

Investiagtion Junction summary

Description

In a second complaint about the Glenorchy City Council Board of Inquiry (BoI), we investigated an allegation that someone had leaked a draft BoI report to media outlets and that this had corrupted the inquiry process

Our investigation identified no evidence that the media coverage of the draft report’s contents had corrupted the BoI process.

Further, given the BoI process had been underway for more than two years at the time of the leak, there was a reasonable argument that the public deserved to know how the matter was progressing. Publication of the draft report had outweighed any potential disadvantage to affected parties.

Sector: Local Government
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Misuse of work information
Outcome: Dismissed - report released in the public interest

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Investigation Koonya

Investigation Koonya

Description

The investigation considered allegations that employees of the Fox Free Taskforce (2002–2006) and Fox Eradication Program (2007–2011) or the then-administrating department (DPIWE) fabricated or falsified, or knowingly misrepresented, evidence of foxes living in Tasmania, to ensure the ongoing funding and continuation of the fox programs.

The complaint also alleged that the (then) Minister for Primary Industries, Water and the Environment failed to manage a conflict of interest, given he was also Minister for Police and Emergency Management.

Following an extensive investigation, we found that: there was no direct evidence of employees of the programs or the organisation knowingly fabricating or falsifying evidence, or knowingly relying on false information; and there was no evidence to suggest that the Minister had a conflict of interest.

Sector: Tasmanian State Service
Respondent level: Public officers; Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Misuse of information, conflict of interest
Outcome: Referred to DPIPWE for action; report released in the public
interest

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Investigation Pelion

Investigation Pelion

Description

The complaint raised concerns regarding a conflict of interest of a former member of a statutory panel providing advice on a particular industry to the relevant Minister.

Our investigation concluded that the facts of the matter did not support the allegation, particularly given the panel was an advisory body that could not make any decisions that may have benefited the person or the other company.

It was also relevant that, while the person’s obligation under the relevant legislation was to disclose any ‘interest that would conflict with the proper performance of the member’s duties’, the individual had been appointed to the panel based on their technical expertise and industry experience.

Sector: Tasmania State Service
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Conflicts of interest
Outcome: Dismissed

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Investigation Pyramid

Investgation Pyramid

Description

We investigated alleged conflicts of interest and attempts to gain pecuniary advantages at Glenorchy City Council by the then General Manager, the then Director Corporate Governance and General Counsel, and one alderman.

Our investigation revealed that from 2013 to 2016, the two officers, supported by the elected member, had acted to secure numerous benefits for one another. Benefits included promotions, salary increases, performance bonuses and significantly increased termination entitlements.

At the end of the investigation, our Board referred the matter to the Director of Local Government to consider any offences under the Local Government Act 1993 and Council for any action deemed appropriate.

Sector: Local government
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Conflict of interest, misuse of power and authority
Outcome: Referred to Director of Local Government and Glenorchy City Council for action - report released in the public interest

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Investigation Strzelecki

Investigation Strzelecki

Description

This investigation arose from a complaint received from the head of a public sector organisation. The complaint contained allegations of misconduct by a public official employed in an industry regulatory office, leading to improper and favourable treatment of one participant in the industry.

The investigation did not identify any evidence to support the allegations raised in the complaint. On the contrary, the only evidence relevant to the allegations contradicted them. It was suspected that the allegations were the result of internal disharmony between some staff in the regulatory office.

Sector: Tasmanian State Service
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Misuse of position
Outcome: Dismissed - investigation report not tabled in Parliament

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Investigation Victor

Investigation Victor

Description

This own-motion investigation looked into the policies, practices and procedures of selected Tasmanian public sector organisations in managing misconduct allegations. It was the first public sector-wide survey of this nature. The survey found areas of good practice and those where improvements were needed to ensure that consistent, effective management of misconduct occurs.

The Commission aimed to understand the capacity of public sector organisations to deal with misconduct so that effective resources and training could be developed to support improved standards...

Sector: Public sector-wide
Respondent level: Designated Public Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Management of misconduct
Outcome: Referred to State Service organisations and councils for action

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Investigation Yarrana

Investigation Yarrana summary

Description

A complainant alleged misconduct relating to negotiations between the State Government and a private company in 2002–03, resulting in an extension of the company’s contract to operate a commercial licence in Tasmania.

Our investigation found insufficient evidence of misconduct to warrant further action.

Sector: Tasmania Parliament
Respondent level: Designated Officer
Misconduct risk(s): Conflict of interest
Outcome: Dismissed

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This page was last updated on 08 Sep 2021.