State’s integrity commissioner quits, premier plays down move

By Jackson Graham

January 25, 2022

Queensland Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov
Outgoing Queensland integrity commissioner Nikola Stepanov. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Queensland integrity commissioner Nikola Stepanov has quit amid what appears to be tension between her office and the state’s Public Service Commission. 

Stepanov maintains the state’s register of lobbyists and advises public servants and politicians on integrity matters. 

The Australian reported this week that Stepanov had quit midway through her term amid the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigating allegations a laptop was taken from her office in March last year without her knowledge and wiped. 

The newspaper reported the Public Service Commission seized the device after Stepanov had, for months, sought financial approval from the PSC for an independent forensic examination of the device. 

The PSC has budgetary oversight of Stepanov’s office. 

But premier Annastacia Palaszczuk played down the resignation on Tuesday, saying Stepanov had taken another job and wasn’t due to leave her role until July. 

“People change jobs all the time and she has indicated she has taken on another role,” Palaszczuk said. 

“We will advertise and have a new integrity commissioner.” 

Palaszczuk refused to answer questions about the laptop, saying they were before the Crime and Corruption Commission. 

Stepanov’s 2020-21 annual report flags staffing levels as an issue in her office, with just one support staff to assist with a high workload at times during the year. 

But Palaszczuk said the office was staffed appropriately. “My understanding is that extra staff were provided to that office,” she said.


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