30 August 2018
The Minister for Police, Troy Grant, has been accused of political interference into the appointment of senior employees in the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission in a bombshell Budget Estimates hearing this afternoon.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Committee was established in 2017 to replace the Police Integrity Commission, Police Division of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Inspector of the Crime Commission.
After questions from the NSW Labor Opposition, the Chief Commissioner of LECC, Justice Michael Adams, said that Police Minister Troy Grant tried to influence him and a member of the “transition team” to not employ any members of the former Police Integrity Commission in the new LECC.
“Shortly after my appointment, the LECC was continuing its recruitment of staff having taken over the PIC. The Minister said to me that I should not employ in any senior executive position any person from PIC because the Union, the Association had taken exception to PIC officers.”
This is despite the LECC Act not allowing the Minister for Police to direct the Chief Commissioner of the LECC.
Former Supreme Court Justice, Michael Adams, said that the request was highly inappropriate.
“I didn’t think that was a proper position to adopt and later wrote to him [Police Minister] and explained why such a decision would be improper.”
“It is a fundamental point of employment in the public service that it is done on merit and merit alone.”
The Minister denies the allegations.
Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle:
“The evidence given to the estimates committee by Justice Adams, a respected QC and Justice of the Supreme Court, that the Police Minister tried to improperly and unlawfully influence him is highly disturbing and should be fully investigated.
“The Premier cannot let this matter drift. She must act now.”