Proctor : July 2019
THE THREE LETTERS POORLY BEHAVED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS NEED TO FEAR BY TONY KEIM Throughout time governments have been prone to give departments and legalisation innocuous and vague names that pretty much confuse everyone about their implied purpose or meaning. One particular piece of legislation which caused many judges and magistrates to make disparaging and quizzical comments about its title was the now renamed Classifi cation and Computer Games and Images Act 1995. No one could ever quite work out at the time what hunting down child sex offenders possessing or obtaining child pornography via the internet had to do with playing computer games—but that was its essential purpose. The most recent confusing name to be bestowed on a government department is Queensland’s Offi ce of the Independent Assessor (OIA). While name sounds innocuous, the OIA is home to an elite team of investigators and professionals who wield signifi cant clout to receive, assess, investigate and prosecute complaints about elected local government offi cials, such as councillors and mayors, throughout Queensland. One of the OIA team recently told Proctor: “When I heard the name I thought I should come to work with a white glove ready to assess [rare gems].’’ Another said he looked forward to the day he could answer the phone with the simple opening: “Good morning, OIA,’’ a nod to the widespread community acceptance of its older cousin the Crime and Misconduct Commission, or ‘Triple C’. #qlsproctor | email@example.com 26 PROCTOR | July 2019 While some legal types have referred to the OIA as the ‘Baby Triple C’, the team would rather be known as the leaner, meaner, and smarter younger sibling of the CCC. The OIA is headed by former Crime and Corruption Commission assistant commissioner and Australian Crime Commission Queensland manager Kathleen Florian. She is supported by an experienced, diverse team made up of former CCC, police and other specialist investigators from throughout Queensland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Northern Territory. Queensland Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, when launching the offi ce in December, said the OIA kicked off a new era of accountability, integrity and transparency as the government attempted to rebuild community faith and trust in local government authorities. The lack of faith stemmed from the signifi cant public outcry that fl owed from CCC investigations and subsequent charging of Ipswich City Council mayors Paul Pisasale and Andrew Antoniolli, and two chief executive offi cers—followed by the eventual sacking of all councillors.