Matter regarding a sergeant of Queensland Police who accessed confidential information in the Queensland Police Service computer system on three separate occasions and charged under Part 7 of the Police Service Administration Act 1990 with having committed misconduct by accessing such information without having an official purpose related to the performance of his duties. The applicant admitted that he had accessed the information but denied that his access was unrelated to the performance of his duties. Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins found that the applicant had accessed the information “without an official purpose related to the performance of [his] duties as a member of the Queensland Police Service” and concluded that conduct was “improper”. As a result, the sergeant’s pay was reduced from Sergeant level 3.6 to Sergeant level pay-point 3.4 for six months and with a return to the original level after that period.
The decision was a “reviewable decision” for the purposes of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (QCAT Act). The applicant applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a review. The standard of review of the decision was pursuant to s 219H of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001, by way of rehearing on the original evidence in the proceeding, subject to a power to admit additional evidence if certain conditions are satisfied.
Their Honours found that the applicant’s contention that the appeal tribunal erred in its appreciation of the scope of a police officer’s duty to investigate was without merit because the tribunal’s reference to the applicant’s lack of instruction or permission to pursue his inquiries was not a statement of law but a statement of fact. It was held that no arguable case of substantial miscarriage of justice was demonstrated.
Scott McLeod QC appeared for the first respondent, instructed by Queensland Police Service Legal Unit.
The judgment is published here.