OIA calls for fair campaigns
28 February 2020
The Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) is calling on election candidates, people who have made complaints to the OIA and the wider community not to misuse official complaints systems in the lead-up to the March election.
The Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian said there were early signs that offices like the OIA could be used to score political points.
“The OIA’s policy is that it will not comment on whether a councillor is the subject of a misconduct investigation, unless that matter is already in the public arena,” Ms Florian said.
“The reason for this policy is that investigations may or may not result in a referral to the Councillor Conduct Tribunal, and a referral to the tribunal may or may not result in a misconduct finding.”
“There is a strict process to be followed consistent with natural justice principles and fairness”.
Ms Florian said the OIA would not be responding when information about an investigation was made public for political purposes.
“It is inappropriate to release any information which may suggest that a councillor is the subject of an investigation, and it is grossly inappropriate to do so in the weeks before an election,” Ms Florian said.
“It is difficult to see how the release of such information at that time, is anything other than an attempt to influence the electorate unfairly.”
The Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian called on all parties to support honest, transparent and fair elections. #fairforall.
Media contact: 0477 385727
Last updated: 28 Feb 2020