Freedom of Information, Privacy Protection & Public Interest Disclosures in the Northern Territory : annual report 2011-2012
Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report 2011 - 12
Northern Territory. Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures
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Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Whistle blowing; Law and Legislation; Annual report; Periodicals
Northern Territory Government
Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report; Annual Report
Office of the Information Commissioner
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Northern Territory Government
Page 17 of tender documents. It was further alleged that the public officer had accepted gifts and hospitality from competing firms over a number of years. The investigation revealed that the officer had been the project manager and contact officer on a number of high value government projects and over time had become friends with many contractors and suppliers within the industry. This friendship included receiving hospitality, such as dinners and accommodation, and gifts such as entertainment and donations. The investigation further revealed that the officer did release confidential information regarding an upcoming tender, and this information enabled the tenderer to win the contract. This behaviour has been reported to the Police Commissioner as contrary to the Criminal Code Act and is currently the subject of a Police investigation. Disciplinary action was taken against the officer however he resigned prior to the completion of the investigation. The Commissioner made many recommendations for change within the organisation including changes to the end-to-end procurement process including supervision and training, the conflict of interest policy, the gifts and benefits policy, and the establishment of an Audit and Risk Committee. These recommendations are currently being implemented and the organisation is continuing to improve its processes. This is another matter where the Chief Executive needs to be congratulated. In this case it was accepted that a problem existed within his organisation, and he displayed strong leadership and determination to implement changes to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future. Matter 5 OCPID investigated an allegation that a public officer in a hospital unlawfully accessed confidential information regarding a sensitive medical procedure and subsequently released that information to friends and relatives of the patient. After investigation it was found that the officer had not accessed any patient files, however did obtain that information from a list that was available to all staff. Hospital management agreed to restrict access to this document on a needs to know basis, and to reiterate the confidentiality provisions within induction and training. Matter 6 OCPID investigated an allegation that a council had reissued a long term lease on a property to a company whose sole director was a council member, even though an Audit Committee recommended that the process be by public tender. The investigation revealed that council had debated this lease agreement for a number of years, finally agreeing to what was described as an excellent lease agreement for council. Whilst there did not appear to be any impropriety
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