Frequently asked questions
- Who is a designated person?
- I used to be a designated person but am no longer. Do I still have access to the Integrity Commissioner?
- Can a designated person seek advice about another person?
- Can a designated person seek advice about someone who used to be a designated person but is no longer one?
- If I am a designated person, how do I seek advice?
- How and when will I get a response?
- Who else will see the advice?
- What should I do once I receive the advice?
- What will happen if i dont follow the advice?
- Can the Integrity Commissioner refuse to give advice?
- Does the Integrity Commissioner have to justify his refusal?
A designated person is a person who carries out one of several roles defined in the Integrity Act (section 12) who may make a written request to the Integrity Commissioner for advice on an ethics or integrity issue (section 14).
Each of the following is a designated person:
- a member of the Legislative Assembly
- a statutory office holder
- a chief executive of a department of government or a public service office
- a senior executive or senior officer
- a chief executive of, or a senior officer equivalent employed in, a government entity who is nominated by the Minister responsible for administering the entity
- a ministerial staff member
- a staff member of an Assistant Minister
- a person nominated by a Minister or Assistant minister.
I used to be a designated person but am not any longer. Do I still have access to the Integrity Commissioner?
The Premier may seek advice about any designated person other than a non-government MP.
Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and CEOs may seek advice about a designated person under their administration.
All designated persons can seek advice regarding their own issues involving ethics or integrity.
Can a designated person seek advice about someone who used to be a designated person but is no longer one?
All requests must be in writing and should contain sufficient information to allow the Integrity Commissioner to evaluate the issues concerned. Requests should be sent to the Integrity Commissioner’s postal address or by email.
The Integrity Commissioner aims to deal with all correspondence in a timely manner and will respond in writing. The reply will be sent by registered post or hand delivered and bear a privacy marking on the envelope.
If you write seeking advice relating to yourself, the Integrity Commissioner will send his reply to you. You are free to disclose that advice as you wish.
However, if you writing seeking advice relating to another designated person, the Integrity Commissioner will send a copy of his advice to you if you request it and may copy it to the person to whom the advice relates.
The Integrity Commissioner must give to the Premier a copy of a relevant document involving a designated person, other than a senior executive officer, senior officer, or senior executive equivalent, if either:
- the Premier asks for it, or
- the Integrity Commissioner reasonably believes that the person concerned has an actual or perceived and significant conflict of interest.
The Integrity Commissioner will give a copy of his advice to the Premier under the second bullet point above only if the person fails to resolve his or her conflict to the Integrity Commissioner’s satisfaction within five business days of being given the advice.
If the Integrity Commissioner advises that you have an actual and significant conflict of interest, you should take steps to resolve that conflict.
The Integrity Commissioner may give a copy of his advice to the Premier or other appropriate person specified in the Integrity Act who will consider what action to take. If the Integrity Commissioner advises a CEO that a senior executive officer or senior officer has an unresolved conflict of interest, the CEO is required, under the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001, to disclose the matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission if the CEO suspects the unresolved conflict of interest may constitute official misconduct.
Furthermore, you will not benefit from the protection given by the Integrity Act 2009 to designated persons who seek and act upon the Integrity Commissioner’s advice to resolve a conflict of interest. This protection from liability in a civil proceeding or under an administrative process does not affect a designated person’s liability for an act or omission done or made in connection with a conflict of interest issue before such a person receives the Integrity Commissioner’s advice.
Yes. The Integrity Commissioner may refuse to give advice if he reasonably believes that:
- he does not have enough information about the conflict of interest issue to give advice or
- the advice is asked for in circumstances in which giving the advice would not be in keeping with the legislation creating and defining the role of the Queensland Integrity Commissioner.
Yes. He is required to record in writing the reasons why he has declined to give advice and give those reasons to the designated person who requested the advice.