Serious misconduct in leading integrity agency has lessons for all

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23 April 2020

The CCC's Report into misconduct risks with access to confidential information in the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) contains startling revelations of corruption risks within one of the State’s major integrity agencies.

The Commission's report details how two auditors, each a certified practising accountant, had regularly accessed sensitive and confidential information within OAG systems that were not properly protected.

One of the auditors obtained access to the names and addresses of every serving police officer in WA while completing an audit and then retained them – 8,800 officers, employees and contractors stored in a spreadsheet on a laptop computer, unbeknown to the OAG.

There is no evidence the police data was shared, however the misconduct risk is real and its value to organised crime could be immense. This risk is obvious and must continue to be addressed by the OAG.

The Commission formed an opinion of serious misconduct in relation to an auditor's deliberate destruction of an encrypted IronKey USB. Perhaps because he was angry, as he claimed, or possibly because he didn’t want an examination of what had been stored on it, or what had been done with data from it.

Specific misconduct risks revealed in this report include:

  • the easy transfer of data, despite being securely stored on an IronKey USB, which could potentially be misused;
  • identity theft, facilitated by access to payroll systems;
  • access to home addresses (of serving police officers) which may be used for intimidation or other serious criminal offences against individual officers, or may lead to the exposure of officers working in covert or other high-risk areas;
  • access to confidential information which could be used to blackmail or manipulated for personal gain; and
  • the risk of organised crime targeting public servants for information.

View the media release

Media release - Serious misconduct in leading integrity agency has lessons for all