Territory Stories

OmbudsmanNT Investigation Report Matters arising from allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former Commissioner of Police and another police officer May 2015



OmbudsmanNT Investigation Report Matters arising from allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former Commissioner of Police and another police officer May 2015

Other title

Tabled paper 1378


Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Adam Giles


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

File type




Copyright owner

See publication



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

21 Other options A special references unit 121. A further option NT Police has raised is the establishment of a special references unit within NT Police Professional Standards Command to investigate corruption, matters with political sensitivities, serious conflicts of interest and other complex internal matters. 122. Such an approach has a limitation in that it is internal to Police and, of course, subject to the ultimate control of the Commissioner. However, a standing unit of this type may well provide an effective mechanism to quickly address the great majority of matters of this type. Other options - An Integrity Commissioner 123. Another option that may bear consideration does not relate to reporting and investigation as such but rather to the potential to seek confidential advice in relation to integrity issues. It should not be seen as a replacement for a robust reporting and investigation regime but as a potential adjunct to executive management of integrity issues. 124. In his report on the Inquiry into Stella Maris (May 2014), Commissioner J A Lawler recommended the appointment of an Integrity Commissioner to provide advice to ministers, the Legislative Assembly and the Northern Territory Public Sector similar to the role of integrity commissioners in other jurisdictions.5 125. Commissioner Lawler recommended that the office be held by the Commissioner for Public Interest Disclosures. I do not consider that such a function would sit well with an office already charged with the investigation of complaints or disclosures about actions or decisions that may have been made in line with, or indeed contrary to, advice given as an Integrity Commissioner. 126. An advisor who later becomes an investigator would be faced with numerous challenges, eg, if the official wholly or partly complied with advice, could the advisor/investigator easily gainsay their own advice or if the advice was not taken, could the advisor/investigator fairly report on the action they warned against. 127. Either OCPID or the Ombudsman could provide general advice and training on how to handle integrity issues but having a formal role as an integrity advisor may be problematic. 128. An alternative model, in a Territory context, might be to have a separate, independent Integrity Commissioner whose sole role is to give advice to senior public officials on integrity issues. 129. Given the likely limited demand for advice in a jurisdiction the size of the Territory, the role could be potentially be undertaken by a retired judicial officer, auditor-general, senior lawyer or other respected community figure, on a sessional basis as required. 130. Two jurisdictions, Queensland and Tasmania, have Integrity Commissioners. In Queensland, for example, the Integrity Act establishes the office of Queensland Integrity Commissioner with a number of functions, most relevantly for present purposes, to advise senior public officials (including members of the Legislative Assembly) on ethics or integrity issues.6 131. In brief overview, any senior public official (designated person) can seek advice on integrity issues relating to himself or herself, although a chief executive must approve a request by an officer within a department (section 15). 5 Recommendation 18, p.330, http://www.stellamarisinquiry.nt.gov.au/documents/inquiry-into-stella-maris report.pdf 6 The Queensland Integrity Commissioner also has functions relating to raising public awareness of ethics and integrity issues and registration of lobbyists. http://www.stellamarisinquiry.nt.gov.au/documents/inquiry-into-stella-maris-report.pdf http://www.stellamarisinquiry.nt.gov.au/documents/inquiry-into-stella-maris-report.pdf

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.