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Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Police. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle Valerie Horton

Corrupt agriculture officer leads to call for changes

A SENATE committee has called for the federal agriculture department to come under the auspices of the national law enforcement integrity body following the conviction of one its officials for "receiving a corrupting benefit".

The woman, who worked for the department at the airport, was also convicted of the abuse of public office, prohibited disclosure of official information and influencing a Commonwealth official.

She was one of several federal government employees, mainly from Customs, targeted in an investigation into a criminal syndicate operating within government ranks at the airport, following media reports about corruption.

Former Federal Integrity Commissioner Philip Moss said investigations into the woman's conduct had been in a "grey area" as the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity had no jurisdiction over the department.

A Senate inquiry this week recommended the agriculture department be included, alongside the crime commission and federal police, as another agency the ACLEI could investigate.

The committee also recommended the vetting of security clearance card applications for both airports and maritime ports be made a responsibility for an agency within the commission's jurisdiction.



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