|Posted on April 3, 2013 at 11:35 AM|
The Queensland LNP government asked former High Court judge Ian Callinan to review the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC), claiming the CMC had allowed itself to be used by those with an axe to grind.
Mr Callinan's 17 recommendations include overhauling the CMC's administrative structure and complaints process.
Robina Cosser says : This is a really good recommendation for Queensland teachers.
Based on my own experience, the CMC complaints process is useless because the policy of 'devolution' is being abused.
Your disclosure is just sent back to the people concerned in your disclosure.
They investigate themselves - or 'set up' an 'independent investigation' to fail at great public expense - and find no evidence of their own corruption.
Some of the more controversial recommendations would allow the government to deny Right to Information requests for nine months without a reason.
Surely this would facilitate the falsification of documents and 'records', 'losing' of documentary evidence, etc ?
Ethical standards units within government departments would disappear or be greatly reduced.
This is a great recommendation.
The Education Queensland Ethical Standards Unit should be the first to go.
Investigations would be centralised through the Public Service Commission.
Why not send the Ethical Conduct department staff (or the staff numbers) to work at the CMC?
Mr Callinan wants the CMC to free up its limited resources by canning all research, unless it's approved by the government.
No more educational material should be produced, such as codes of conduct for state and local governments, which were labelled "unremarkable".
Unremarkable, unread and uncomprehended.
Time spent writing these useless 'departmental codes of conduct' seems to be an avoidance strategy.
Especially as the changes seem to be based on the findings of investigations that have been 'set up' to fail.
A total waste of public money, just a 'ceremony' to create the illusion that something was being done about the corruption - when it wasn't.
Mr Callinan describes the CMC as being bogged down with bureaucracy.
In one year, it received 5000 complaints, but fewer than 100 needed to be pursued.
Based on my own experience, I would say that many more complaints needed to be pursued, but the only ones that actually were being pursued were the wild geese that Peter Beattie continually sent to the CMC to be chased.
Mr Callinan says to reduce the avalanche of complaints, those who make "baseless, vexatious, reckless, or malicious" claims could be prosecuted and fined.
I think the problem has not really been the volume of complaints, it has been the volume of corruption.
And this recommendation may make it easier for public service departments to 'pay back' whistleblowers by 'finding' that their disclosures are vexatious.
Complaints would only be made public if investigations led to criminal proceedings or proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
I am not sure I agree with this change.
Based on my own experience, many of the disclosures that I sent to government departments were immediately 'lost' or falsified.
'Losing' your written disclosure - or 'misunderstanding' your verbal disclosure - seemed to me to be the main CMC / Education Queensland investigative strategy.
So I had to publish my disclosures so that they could not be "lost' or "misunderstood'.
Teachers should have the right to publish disclosures if they find that their documents and their verbal disclosures are being falsified.
How can an investigation be properly conducted if the documentation and the verbal disclosures have been extensively falsified?
Premier Campbell Newman believes the CMC needs significant reform.
"We need to ensure that the CMC is not used to settle personal or political scores," he said.
"We need reforms to ensure the organisation focuses on the big issues of corruption and official misconduct, but particularly on organised criminal gangs that have unfortunately started infiltrating Queensland.
And, hopefully, on the workplace-bullying-friendly mobs that seem to have infiltrated the Queensland public service.
Qld watchdog bogged down, review says, Kym Agius, AAP, 3 April 2013 : http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/qld-watchdog-bogged-down-review-says-20130403-2h6e2.html