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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Crime and Misconduct Commission statement – 06.03.2013
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Crime and Misconduct Commission statement – 06.03.2013
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Crime and Misconduct Commission statement – 06.03.2013

Crime and Misconduct Commission statement – 06.03.2013

The Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) has, as a result of inquiries from The Australian become aware of an administrative oversight concerning public access to certain Fitzgerald Inquiry records. 

After the Fitzgerald Inquiry, its records were transferred to the then Criminal Justice Commission (CJC). Since 2005, the CMC has progressively transferred those records to Queensland State Archives.

In February 2012, the CMC modified the restricted access period for some documents from its original 65-year minimum period to 20 years following the close of the Inquiry in 1989. The intention was to provide appropriate public access to documents that were uncontroversial. It was intended that the only documents to which public access would be provided were to transcripts of public hearings and exhibits publicly tendered to the Inquiry.

However, as a result of an administrative oversight by the CMC, other documents (not public exhibits and transcripts tendered to the Inquiry) have been potentially accessible from February 2012 to 4 March 2013.

Having discovered this oversight, out of an abundance of caution and as a temporary measure, the CMC has immediately instituted a 65-year restriction on all documents. The CMC has further determined it is in the public interest to review the issue of access to all Fitzgerald Inquiry records (which number in excess of 19,000 items) and how the administrative error occurred.

The review will also seek to determine whether any inappropriate access has occurred in order to ascertain associated potential for harm.

While it is not appropriate to comment further as this review is underway, it appears that an inherent problem in the archiving of Fitzgerald Inquiry records – a process that has occurred over a protracted period, from 2005 to 2010 – stems from the quantity of material involved, as well as the way it has been gathered, described and handled by the Fitzgerald Inquiry, the CJC and the CMC over the years.

The CMC’s review of the material is aimed at ensuring that only appropriate material will be made available for public access. No further detail can be provided at this time.

Last updated: 06 March 2013

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