There are more questions than answers in the damning Coaldrake report handed down last week revealing the appalling culture of fear and bullying in Queensland public sector and work of Labor aligned lobbyists and the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) Investigation Report into complaints lodged by the Integrity Commissioner about interference in her office.
Who authorised taking a laptop from the office of the Integrity Commissioner and wiping it? Who knows as the CCC says it doesn’t know. However, the CCC report at least back calls for greater independence of the Integrity Commissioner’s office so this can’t happen again where another agency comes in and removes laptops and resources and cleans them without authorisation or checks and balances on access to sensitive data.
The CCC identifies “risks” and “vulnerabilities” in the governance structure and IT systems that allowed this to happen. This is the fourth review recommending greater independence for the Integrity Commissioner’s office from interference or control by other government agencies. It comes after the Public Service Commission removed staff and resources from the Integrity Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring the lobbying register and providing ethical advice to elected officials and public servants.
The fact these devices contained Integrity Commissioner records, including files on lobbyists, highlights how dangerous and inappropriate this activity is, are just some of the questions that the report raises are…. If the Department of Premier and Cabinet is responsible for IT in the office of the Integrity Commissioner, why did the Public Service Commission request the laptop? And, why can no one in the Public Service Commission remember who made the request?
The Coaldrake Review was published last week and fell far short of what is needed to clean up the corruption that is running rife through the Queensland Government, but it did highlight the toxic culture within the Palasczcuk government for seven years.
The fish rots from the head and this rotten culture has delivered rotten services to Queenslanders.
We need a Royal Commission now more than ever to address the State Government’s integrity inferno, to provide protection to whistleblowers, and address the entrenched culture of cover-ups and systemic corruption.
Queenslander’s deserve better.