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Linda Waugh appointed Merit Protection Commissioner

It took six months and a national search for the Commonwealth to find a Merit Protection Commissioner, but still no word on when or how the next Australian Public Service Commissioner will be found.

Linda Waugh

The Commonwealth has looked beyond its own ranks to find the next Merit Protection Commissioner, responsible for reviewing appointments and promotions within the Australian Public Service.

On Friday, Kelly O’Dwyer, the portfolio minister for the public service, confirmed the appointment of Linda Waugh for a five-year term commencing June 25.

With Deputy Public Service Commissioner Jenet Connell appointed seven months ago, and Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd stepping down in August — possibly voiding an investigation by doing so — three of the top four commission roles will have been replaced in under a year. The fourth role, First Assistant Commissioner Kerryn Vine-Camp, was appointed in late 2016.

In one respect Waugh has something in common with the Lloyd that is relatively unusual for APSC appointments — she does not come from the Australian Public Service. Waugh served for five years in the NSW Ombusdman’s office as a deputy ombudsman with responsibility for the policing division, and five years as the executive director of corruption prevention for the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission. Last year she moved to the Victorian Ombudsman’s office as an assistant ombudsman.

Mark Davidson has been acting merit protection commissioner following former commissioner Annwyn Godwin’s appointment late last year to head the new Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.

We’re still waiting to hear whether a replacement for Lloyd will be advertised — last time it infamously was not.

 

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The Mandarin

The Mandarin staff journalists.