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Federal anti-corruption expert appointed as state’s new integrity boss

The Palaszczuk Government has sought to rule a line under a controversial period in the operation of the state’s Integrity Commissioner by appointing a long-time federal public servant to the role.

Oct 14, 2022, updated Oct 14, 2022

The federal government’s Merit Protection Commissioner, Linda Waugh, has been appointed to the post Nikola Stepanov left in July after the political upheaval caused by her claims of political interference in her efforts to regulate lobbying.

Waugh’s job as merit protection commissioner involved reviewing complaints by public servants over workplace actions or decisions on promotions they didn’t agree with.

She has more than 20 years experience in integrity matters and has spent time at both the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commisson and NSW’s ICAC as well as the ombudsman’s office in NSW and Victoria.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the parliamentary Economic and Governance Committee, which oversees the Integrity Commissioner’s work, was consulted on the appointment.

Waugh will begin the job in December.

Stepanov’s claims of interference – which included allegations a laptop containing sensitive information had been removed from her office without her knowledge – sparked a political storm over the government’s attitude towards integrity and transparency matters.

 

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