This is a summary report of an investigation undertaken by the Integrity Commission arising from a complaint received in August 2018.
The complaint contained allegations of misconduct against the Hon Michael Ferguson MP, Minister for Health, and possibly other senior Government members. The complainant alleged that Mr Ferguson may have released private information about an employee of Cricket Australia, Angela Williamson, and that Ms Williamson’s employment was terminated because of Government influence.
An assessment of the complaint was undertaken by the Commission. The assessment considered the allegations against Mr Ferguson. It also considered allegations against another Government member, Premier the Hon William Hodgman MP.
At the end of the assessment, we determined to investigate whether Mr Ferguson and Mr Hodgman had exercised undue influence leading to the termination of Ms Williamson’s employment. The investigation was not into whether the termination of Ms Williamson’s employment was justified.
The investigation involved the use of the Commission’s coercive powers, including collecting information from three witnesses by:
- obtaining a statutory declaration from Ms Williamson
- interviewing the Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Tasmania, Nick Cummins, and
- interviewing a former Cricket Tasmania Board member, Paul Green.
At the completion of the investigation, the investigator’s draft report was sent to Mr Ferguson, Mr Hodgman and all three witnesses for comment. The same persons were also provided an opportunity to comment on the recommendations of the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer to the Commission’s Board, and on this summary report.
The investigator found that, on the balance of probabilities, the allegations against Mr Ferguson and Mr Hodgman were not substantiated. Instead, it was found that Cricket Tasmania’s withdrawal of support for Ms Williamson, which led to her employment termination, was a decision made without active and intentional Government involvement.
The Board of the Commission subsequently determined that the matter should be dismissed. The Board also determined that it is in the public interest that a summary of the investigator’s report be tabled in both Houses of Parliament, in accordance with section 11(3) of the Integrity Commission Act 2009.
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