NACC reviews decision not to probe robodebt officials

The National Anti Corruption Commissioner is reviewing a decision not to investigate public servants involved in robodebt.

National Anti Corruption Commissioner Gail Furness

Earlier this month the new national corruption watchdog confirmed it had received referrals from the Robodebt Royal Commission concerning six public officials, but had decided not to launch a corruption investigation “as it would not add value in the public interest”.

The decision in the matter had been delegated from the Commissioner to the Deputy Commissioner to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest, the NACC said.

Commissioner Gail Furness says she has received nearly 900 complaints since the commission announced its decision to throw out the referrals.

Commissioner Furness noted there had been “much public commentary” in relation to that decision.

“Accordingly, I have decided to inquire into that decision,” she said in a statement. “I anticipate that I will make my findings public in due course.”

In its initial statement the NACC reasoned that the conduct of the six officials had already been fully explored by the Robodebt Royal Commission, and they were also being investigated by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

It comes after leading public sector ethics experts Professor Richard Mulgan warned that weaknesses in the public service that led to the robodebt scandal remain embedded in APS culture.

A Senate estimates committee heard last month that six of the sixteen public servants referred the the APSC for investigation remained in the service, including four who had been sanctioned for breaches of the public service code.

Commissioner Gordon de Brouwer said he expected all inquiries to be finished in coming months.

As of June 12 the NACC had received 3070 referrals, of which 450 are under assessment. It is currently conducting 21 corruption investigations.

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One thought on “NACC reviews decision not to probe robodebt officials

  1. So, NACC, tell me again why the devil did the Royal Commissioner refer to NACC her sealed Chapter containing the names of those to be investigated for possible prosecution?

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