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The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has tabled its report on an investigation into allegations of corrupt conduct relating to the Premier’s former Chief of Staff, Mr David Barbagallo, in State Parliament today. 

The CCC examined allegations that Mr Barbagallo, when Chief of Staff to the Premier of Queensland, misused his position to obtain $267,500 of funding from a government investment fund for a company in which he was a shareholder and director. 

The CCC’s investigation did not find any evidence that Mr Barbagallo misused his position to obtain funding from the Advance Queensland Business Development (AQBD) Fund or that the decision to award funding to Fortress Capstone, the company of which he was a director, was the result of any improper influence. 

CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran QC said while there are no grounds to consider any prosecution proceedings against Mr Barbagallo, the investigation did find that Mr Barbagallo failed to fully and accurately declare his non-pecuniary interests throughout his employment as Chief of Staff. 

“The CCC considers Mr Barbagallo’s failure to declare his interests to the Premier breached certain legislative and policy requirements of his former position, which would have provided grounds for consideration of disciplinary action if he had not resigned from his position,” Mr MacSporran said. 

“While the investigation did not identify evidence that Mr Barbagallo misused his position as Chief of Staff to obtain funding from the AQBD Fund through Fortress Capstone, it does highlight the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest wherever possible, and properly declaring and managing conflicts of interest.” 

This report highlights important issues for the whole public sector with respect to the identification, documentation and management of conflicts of interests. It also makes recommendations relating to transparency and governance issues detected during the course of the investigation. 

The recommendations aim to improve the management of declaration of interests and conflict of interests and to strengthen recordkeeping practices.

The CCC also recommends consideration be given to amending the Integrity Act 2009 to impose an obligation on a designated person to disclose any advice received from the Integrity Commissioner to the designated person’s reporting supervisor to ensure any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest are appropriately managed and monitored. This should include all advice about whether a conflict of interest is identified or not. 

The report titled, Investigation Keller: An investigation into allegations relating to the former Chief of Staff to The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland and Minister for Trade, is available on the CCC's website.  

The CCC is an independent agency combating major crime and reducing corruption for the benefit of the Queensland community.

 -ENDS-

Last updated: 07 October 2020
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