Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Attorney-General, Allegations, Truths, and Skeletons

Please note: Michael Atkinson has been replaced by John Rau
(January 2011)

On Radio Station 5AA this week, during our interview, you (South Australia's doyen of all that represents Truth & Justice) said about me; “… the trouble with Mr McKibbin is that his allegations haven’t been sustained. They’ve been fully investigated and they haven’t been sustained…”

Let's deal with facts, as supported by others.

The Statutory Authorities Review Committee, comprised of Independents from the Upper House, Members of the Liberal Party, and Members of your Labor Party, recently tabled its findings from the Parliamentary Inquiry in to the Office of the Public Trustee (OPT).

In part, it details evidence given by your own Government Investigations Unit (GIU), a significant investigation that I pushed for, and was agreed to in lieu of my continuing action(s) against the Department. The Report also gives details of the subsequent Moss Inquiry. And please, DO NOT claim the fame for these events....I brought them about, not you or your CEO!

Your people did not want me back in The Dock spilling my guts. And, it is a disgrace for your CEO to suppress the findings of the Moss Inquiry. The usual slap in the face to the victims!!

Judging by your comments in public this week, you have not read the Committee's report.


9.3.3 Government Investigations Unit

According to the Public Trustee, the GIU conducted a long and detailed investigation of a wide-ranging series of allegations made by Mr McKibbin and others. Mr Andrew Hill, Manager of the GIU, gave evidence to the Committee in camera in relation to this investigation. He explained that an email was circulated by the then Public Trustee to all staff to report to the GIU any events of bullying behaviour they had experienced. This process resulted in a number of staff members coming forward and led to an investigation into allegations made about four individuals at the OPT. The individuals in question were interviewed in order to determine if their behaviour amounted to a prima facie breach of the Public Sector Management Act 1995 (PSM Act). Information arising out of those interviews was handed to the Crown Solicitor, who in turn advised the Public Trustee on potential breaches of the PSM Act. This led to a disciplinary hearing, which was conducted into one of the four individuals complained about in relation to inappropriate behaviour of the OPT.

9.3.4 Moss Inquiry

On 23 November 2006, the Chief Executive of the Attorney-General’s Department served a Notice of Inquiry upon an employee of the OPT. Responsibility for the conduct of the Inquiry was delegated to Mr Alan Moss, retired Chief Judge of the Youth Court and former Chief Magistrate. Mr Moss heard evidence from a number of staff members of the OPT and, on 10 November 2008, he found that the employee had breached the PSM Act and was liable to disciplinary action.

I draw your attention to the fact that the GIU Investigation, although briefed to investigate the bullying culture at the OPT teased out allegations of other more serious matters. Several of these more serious matters have yet to surface.

When you said that my allegations had, and let me quote your own words, “…been fully investigated and they haven’t been sustained…” , you knew that not to be true. So, why did you say that?

I first wrote to your department CEO in 2003. I first wrote to your office in 2004. And in the House of Assembly in 2006 you bleated on about knowing nothing about the investigations into the Office of the Public Trustee.

The strange thing is, I have the utmost respect for your endeavours in the arena of Law and Order. Many of the moves you have made with respect to organised crime are gutsy. I tip my hat.

But then, why did you let your own people suffer, at the Office of Public Trustee, for so long. Workplace Bullying of the worst kind. Sexual harassment that had females in tears. One staff member wound up in the bloody mental hospital at Glenside. Another had to be urgently attended to as he sat at his desk muttering on about suicide. When another collapsed, unconscious, the bully of that time said to me; 'Before you send him home, he has a report I asked for this afternoon'.

Then we have the allegations relating to some extremely serious matters, particularly one matter I reported to your own Department only to be given a lecture on the laws of Libel and Slander!

You still sit on a powder keg Mr Atkinson, and I know the locations of the untouched skeletons. I would have more respect for you as a human being if you look before you leap! I don't tell lies......


P. said...

I love your blog. Many of us here know exactly where you are coming from. We ignore some of the stuff we see day in day out. Whats the point of complaining. I personally have seen coverups. There is no point making an issue of things because you only end up being treated badly. You know. Keep up the good work. I know of some of the same skeletons and one in particular that for some years has been kept under wraps. Its all only a matter of time. Cheers Rob. Legend Rob.

Anonymous said...

You've probably figured out by now that when denials and spin don't calm an issue down, the Attorney General often steps in to "explain" the situation. The outcome of such an intervention is inevitably so much confusion that no-one has the stomach to try and sort out where they started from. Atko goes away feeling like a winner because he is the only person left speaking with any confidence.

The Hooded One said...

Good onya Rob. You are so spot on with this story. I remember reading it last year, and I heard that interview you gave to Mike Smithson on air, when my then leader basically called you a liar. I can say that it certainly raised a few eyebrows back at work. Not a good luck for any AG to, as you might put it, bullshit on air! Keep going Rob.