In performing its functions under the Integrity Commission Act 2009 (the IC Act) the Commission is guided by a principal objective: to enhance public confidence that misconduct by public officers will be appropriately investigated and dealt with.
One way in which this objective is achieved is by the public reporting of the Commission’s investigations, in accordance with s 11(3) of the IC Act. This action is only undertaken when it is in the public interest to do so, giving due consideration to, among other things, the seriousness of the alleged misconduct and the impact such reporting has on affected parties who may be identified in the report.
The Commission has recently completed investigations relating to the ongoing political and governance dysfunction that affected Glenorchy City Council up until its recent election. The issues prevailing within the Council were unsurprisingly the subject of much public concern, and consequently the Commission’s Board considered it appropriate that the community be advised of the investigation findings.
This report concerns three separate investigations by the Commission in relation to alleged misconduct at the Council. It is divided into three parts, each relating to a separate investigation. The investigations involved matters connected to, but separate from, those considered as part of the recent Board of Inquiry process.
Part A – Investigation Pyramid
Investigation Pyramid is the most significant of the three investigations and Part A contains the full report. The investigation related to conflicts of interest and attempts to improperly gain pecuniary benefits, potentially up to a value of nearly $1 million.
The report makes 56 factual findings relating to matters arising from 2013–2016, which the Board of the Commission determined to refer to the Director of Local Government and to the newly re-elected Mayor, Alderman Kristie Johnston. In referring the matter to the Director, the Board recommended that he give consideration to whether or not offences had occurred under the Local Government Act 1993.
Part B – Investigation Direction
Investigation Direction resulted from a complaint about the Glenorchy City Council Board of Inquiry (BoI), where it was alleged that the BoI failed to investigate the Council ‘in a fair, honest and competent way’.
The investigation considered allegations that the BoI was biased, had ignored relevant evidence and consequently had made findings that were not supported by the evidence received. The investigation found no evidence to suggest that the BoI acted in the manner alleged.
A summary report of the investigation, briefly detailing the allegations and basis for dismissing the matter, is contained in Part B.
Part C – Investigation Junction
Investigation Junction related to the alleged unauthorised disclosure of the BoI’s draft report to media outlets in mid-2017. The Commission accepted this matter on the ii basis that it was alleged that the disclosure had been made for the purposes of prejudicing the BoI process.
The investigation found no evidence to suggest that disclosure of the draft report affected the BoI process. Furthermore, it noted strong arguments in favour of the public being made aware of such matters, particularly given the timeframes and expense involved in the inquiry.
Part C contains a summary report of the investigation, detailing why the Commission’s Board determined to dismiss the matter.
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