Legislative Council: Tuesday, May 30, 2023


ICAC, Director of Investigations

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (16:08): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney-General a question about ICAC's Director of Investigations.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO:The Advertiser on the weekend ran a prominent advertisement calling for applications for the position of Director of Investigations at ICAC. The current or former Director of Investigations—and I say that because I'm not sure whether he is still in the role or has left—is Mr Andrew Baker, who as we know was in charge of the flawed investigation into former Renewal SA Chief Executive and highly respected public servant John Hanlon and an executive at Renewal SA Georgina Vasilevski, as well as other failed prosecutions.

Mr Baker was one of two ICAC staff who travelled to Germany as part of their pursuit of Mr Hanlon to take statements without getting the necessary international approvals which they had known about before leaving. There was also a failure to disclose vital information that would have cleared Mr Hanlon of the wrongdoing he was accused of.

The investigation is now the subject of an independent review by the Inspector of the ICAC, Mr Philip Strickland KC. My questions to the Attorney are:

1. What are the circumstances behind the vacancy?

2. Is Mr Baker still working for ICAC or has he moved on or been moved on?

3. When will you receive a copy of Mr Strickland's report, and when will it be tabled in parliament?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (16:09): I thank the honourable member for his questions. In terms of personnel at ICAC, that is a matter for the ICAC. I know that there are various committees of parliament that can ask about matters to do with the ICAC, but that is not something that I have responsibility for in terms of what ICAC does in terms of employment practices. I am happy to see if there is anything that I can say about this in response to the question about employment within ICAC itself.

In relation to the ICAC Inspector's look at the Hanlon matter, which is a matter of public record and was referred by me as Attorney-General to the ICAC Inspector, as is provided for in the ICAC legislation, I think it is within the coming weeks, certainly within the next month or not much more. If that is different, I am happy to bring back a response, but I think it is due to wrap up within the coming weeks. But if that is not the case or it's going to be radically different, I'm happy to let the honourable member know.