The Australian Public Service Commissioner has rejected Labor’s request to look into whether the former Department of Health secretary had breached archives laws by destroying personal notes.
On Friday — the day of her retirement — Glenys Beauchamp told a Senate inquiry she had destroyed all of the notebooks she kept during her time in the APS, including notes made during an “ad hoc meeting” with the then-boss of Sport Australia Kate Palmer.
Palmer had called the teleconference after she had seen a colour-coded spreadsheet used to administer government sports grants by former Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie.
In response to the revelations, Labor senator Katy Gallagher wrote to APS commissioner Peter Woolcott asking him to investigate whether Beauchamp had destroyed official Commonwealth records, and as a result, breached the Archives Act.
Woolcott rejected the request on Monday.
“The Australian Public Service Commission does not hold any evidence that there are widespread or ongoing issues in the service relating to the destruction of documents,” he wrote in a letter to Gallagher.
“Without this, I am of the view this does not require further review.
“In the course of our ongoing work, the commission plans to work closely with the Attorney-General’s portfolio in developing the pro-integrity agenda, including reminding public servants about appropriate record keeping practices.”
He noted the Attorney-General’s portfolio handled the framework for the management of Commonwealth records under the act.
Turns out destroying personal notebooks from your role as a senior public servant doesn’t warrant investigation according the Public Service Commissioner.
— Katy Gallagher (@SenKatyG) March 2, 2020
In a tweet, Gallagher said the commissioner’s response was “not surprising considering the secretive approach of this prime minister and his team”.
The APSC has been contacted for comment.