THERE are mounting calls for sacked Logan City councillors to receive compensation after a report found last week the investigation which led to their sacking had been mishandled.
The report, handed down following a parliamentary inquiry into the investigations of fraud against the councillors, was damning of the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission and its leader Alan MacSporran.
It said the CCC acted outside its powers under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.
Already, CCC chief Alan MacSporran is under pressure to resign.
But a statement from the state’s watchdog said Mr MacSporran would be staying in his position.
LGAQ chair Mark Jamieson said last week that public confidence in the watchdog needed to be restored.
And he said councillors should be compensated after their careers were “cut short by the CCC’s actions”.
“The CCC’s actions … exceeded the specific limits on the CCC’s powers under that Act,” the report said.
It recommended the government review protections afforded to public interest disclosures under the Act.
It also suggested a review of CCC powers under its own Act, that the structure of the organisation be reviewed, and that it undergo culture reform.
There were 14 key findings of the inquiry which looked at how the CCC investigated the sacking of former Logan City Council CEO Sharon Kelsey.
“The committee finds that the CCC considered its interests and those of Ms Kelsey were shared, and it ought to assist Ms Kelsey as much as it legitimately could,” the report found.
“The committee finds that the discretion to charge the seven Logan City councillors and mayor with fraud was affected by a desire to assist Ms Kelsey.”
Full findings and recommendations at mycitylogan.com.au

Full findings and recommendations of the report are below:

Finding 1

The Crime and Corruption Commission’s actions were not in accordance with the Public Interest

Disclosure Act 2010 and exceeded the specific limits on the Crime and Corruption Commission’s

powers under that Act.

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Finding 2

In assisting Ms Kelsey as a public interest discloser within the Queensland Industrial Relations

Commission process the Crime and Corruption Commission acted outside its specific powers in the

Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Finding 3

The committee finds that the Crime and Corruption Commission considered its interests and those of

Ms Kelsey were shared, and it ought to assist Ms Kelsey as much as it legitimately could.

Finding 4

The committee finds that the Crime and Corruption Commission acted upon the shared interest by

involving itself in Ms Kelsey’s Queensland Industrial Relations Commission proceedings and seeking

to make documents it had obtained under compulsion available to her in that proceeding.

The inference may be drawn that this was done for the purpose of Ms Kelsey’s reinstatement as chief

executive officer.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Available Finding 2)

Finding 5

The committee finds that the totality of the steps taken by the Crime and Corruption Commission to

assist Ms Kelsey in her Queensland Industrial Relations Commission proceeding, including with

respect to her desire for reinstatement, breached its duty to act, at all times, independently and

impartially pursuant to section 57 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Available Finding 7)

Finding 6

The committee finds that confidential documents, including some that were likely subject to legal

professional privilege, were delivered to Logan City Council on 3 October 2018 by Crime and

Corruption Commission officers, without a dissemination authority, for a purpose of making them

available for Ms Kelsey’s use in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission proceeding.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Available Finding 3)

Finding 7

The committee finds that confidential documents were delivered to Logan City Council on

19 November 2018 by the Crime and Corruption Commission for a weighty and substantial purpose

of making them available for Ms Kelsey’s use in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission

proceeding, contrary to the ruling of Black IC.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Available Finding 5)

Finding 8

The committee considers the conduct of Detective Sergeant Andrew Francis (that was rightly

criticised by Counsel Assisting) to be an example of and symptomatic of the culture of the Crime and

Corruption Commission.

Finding 9

The committee finds that the material prepared for, and evidenced discussions of, the 24 April 2019

meeting of the Crime and Corruption Commission to consider commencing criminal proceedings

against the 7 Logan City Councillors (and further proceedings against the Mayor) for fraud in respect

of Ms Kelsey’s public interest disclosure and termination as chief executive officer were inadequate

for that purpose.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Available Finding 9)

Finding 10

The committee finds that the discretion to charge the 7 Logan City Councillors and Mayor with fraud

was affected by a desire to assist Ms Kelsey.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Available Finding 10)

Finding 11

The committee finds that the discretion to charge the 7 Logan City Councillors and Mayor with fraud

in respect of Ms Kelsey’s public interest disclosure and termination as chief executive officer

miscarried because all material considerations and evidence were not taken into account

and weighed.

Finding 12

The committee finds that in August 2018 the Crime and Corruption Commission gave consideration

to charging criminal offences that would cause Logan City Councillors to be removed, and the Logan

City Council to be dismissed and an Administrator appointed.

Finding 13

The committee finds that Crime and Corruption Commission officers should have reported the

absence of a dissemination authority for the delivery of documents to the Logan City Council on 3

October 2018, to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Crime and Corruption Commission, and that

the CEO should have notified the committee pursuant to section 329 of the Crime and

Corruption Act 2001.

Finding 14

The committee finds that as Chairperson, Mr Alan MacSporran QC, did not ensure that the Crime and

Corruption Commission acted, at all times relevant to the matters the subject of the inquiry

resolution, independently and impartially. That failing is serious and reflects poorly on the Crime and

Corruption Commission.

2.2 Recommendations of the committee

In assisting the committee with the inquiry, Counsel Assisting submitted that certain proposed

measures were available to the committee to consider. These proposed measures are contained in

Counsel Assisting’s Outline of Submissions, included in the Additional Volume. Whilst Counsel

Assisting’s submissions were invaluable to the committee during its consideration, the committee had

scope to accept fully or in part, or to reject these proposed measures outlined to it by Counsel

Assisting.

The recommendations of the committee, and their genesis in Counsel Assisting’s submissions or

otherwise, are set out below.

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends the Queensland Government review the effectiveness and

appropriateness of protections afforded to public interest disclosers under the Public Interest

Disclosure Act 2010, including the roles of the Crime and Corruption Commission and other

relevant entities.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the Queensland Government review the broad scope of both the

present section 60 and former sections 60 and 62 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 to ensure an

appropriate balance is reached between the Crime and Corruption Commission being able to utilise

information in pursuance of its functions and the rights of other parties to not be detrimentally

impacted by the dissemination of that information, in particular that obtained by use of the Crime

and Corruption Commission’s extraordinary powers.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Proposed Measure 4)

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends the Queensland Government review section 49 of the Crime and

Corruption Act 2001. Furthermore, consideration should be given to a requirement that the Crime

and Corruption Commission obtain the recommendation of the Director of Public Prosecutions, or a

senior independent legal advisor, before exercising (through seconded police officers) the discretion

to charge serious criminal offences (including disqualification offences under the Local Government

Act 2009) in the exercise of its corruption function.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Proposed Measure 1)

Inquiry into the Crime and Corruption Commission’s investigation of former councillors of Logan City

Council; and related matters

Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee 13

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that the Crime and Corruption Commission engage in reform of culture

(including seeking external advice) to assist in creating a best practice organisational culture that

aligns with the purpose, functions and goals of the Crime and Corruption Commission under the Crime

and Corruption Act 2001, and to enhance public confidence in the organisation.

Recommendation 5

The committee recommends the Department of Justice and Attorney-General consider issues

regarding the tenure of senior officers, and take into account the Crime and Corruption Commission’s

(CCC) adoption of the committee’s position in relation to single, non-renewable appointments for the

CCC Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Ordinary Commissioners, in conjunction with its

consideration of relevant recommendations of the committee’s Report No. 106, arising from the five

year review, tabled on 30 June 2021.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Proposed Measure 2)

Recommendation 6

The committee recommends the Queensland Government instigate a review of the CCC’s structure

in regards to its investigatory and charging functions, and the role of seconded police officers at the

CCC, as a Commission of Inquiry or similar, to be headed by senior counsel of sufficient standing to

consider this structural basis of the CCC that has its roots in the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

(Based on Counsel Assisting Proposed Measure 3

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