“This year has been a period of building on the existing strengths of the organisation to ensure it is better placed to expose corruption and promote ethical conduct in the Queensland public sector…. The CJC this year took a strategic decision to enhance its ability to promote corruption prevention initiatives in the public sector.”
---Chairperson Brendan Butler SC
Chairperson Brendan Butler SC commenced in November 1998 after practising as a criminal lawyer in Queensland for 22 years and was Counsel Assisting the Fitzgerald Commission of Inquiry, and through this, led an investigative team of barristers and detectives.
In 1998-99, the CJC took a strategic decision to enhance its ability to promote corruption prevention initiatives in the public sector. Five additional corruption prevention officers were appointed, and greater liaison was initiated with local government and the public service as the CJC emphasised prevention as a desired outcome of its work.
The CJC continued proactively investigating possible corruption in the police service, correctional institutions, the public sector and local government in 1998-99.
Some of the key highlights from this year included:
- Recommending 358 charges, 162 of which related to criminal charges and 196 to disciplinary charges
- 2,768 complaints were registered, comprising 5,815 separate allegations. This was the highest amount ever received and represented a 10 per cent increase from the previous year
- 60 per cent of complaints received were from members of the public
- The Corrective Services Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) commenced piloting an intensive collection plan (Project Indigo) where CJC officers could collect information on allegations of official misconduct within Queensland correctional centres
- 64 corruption prevention workshops/presentations were provided to the Queensland Police Service (QPS), 38 to the broader public sector and 36 to correctional centres
- 40 witnesses were summonsed to give evidence at Commission hearings
- Five prisoners were directed to appear before the Commission and
- Six listening device applications were approved by the Supreme Court.
Through Project Sunbeam, the CJC developed indicators of corruption for areas that fell within its jurisdiction. Intelligence indicators are sets of information which, when viewed separately, may not appear of great value, but when combined, may indicate that something of interest is occurring. Three draft papers were prepared on indicators of corruption in the police service, corrective services and the public sector. When completed, it was expected that the indicators would provide managers and investigators with early warnings of corruption.
The Kimmins Inquiry established that there was no evidence of an official cover-up in the investigation of paedophilia by law enforcement agencies in Queensland. During the Inquiry, 43 witnesses were publicly examined on oath over 27 days.
One of the 14 recommendations resulting from the Carter Inquiry report was the establishment of a police anti-corruption unit, separate from the Complaints Section and multidisciplinary in concept. The Target Development Unit was staffed by police and civilian investigators, with support from legal expertise, intelligence, financial analysis, surveillance and other areas. It developed well-defined individual targets or areas of corruption that had a reasonable prospect of being successfully investigated.
In May 1999, discussions were held between CJC officers and officers from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet on the drafting of new witness protection legislation for Queensland. Throughout 1998-99 the CJC provided security at courts for 23 witnesses who were required to give evidence. As a result of this protection, all witnesses were able to fulfil their obligations to give evidence.
In 1998-99, seven offenders were prosecuted for perjury, resulting from four separate operations: Caesar II, Lime, Monument and Jetski. Three of these offenders were serving police officers, one a former police officer and three were civilians. They received custodial sentences ranging from 12 months to three and a half years.
To find out more, read the Annual Report 1998-99.