'A very bad look': CCC head questioned on Tully's email use
THE use of private emails to conduct any council related business is a "very, very bad look", a huge corruption risk and is designed to avoid public scrutiny, head of the state's corruption watchdog says.
During committee hearings into the State Government's bill to dismiss Ipswich City Council, Crime and Corruption Commission chair Alan MacSporran was asked about Ipswich councillor Paul Tully's use of private email accounts.
While Mr MacSporran did not answer the question directly in relation to Cr Tully, generally speaking he said the deliberate use of a private email account by elected officials was "a huge corruption risk" and shouldn't be done.
"If you want to use a private email account for convenience purposes… you should send your private email to your official emails where they can be saved and recorded," Mr MacSporran told the committee.
"That's not ideal either but at least has you attempting to meet the transparency requirements.
"But to use quite separately and deliberately a private email account, is a huge corruption risk and gives rise to a significant perception that you are up to no good.
"And undermines public confidence in your ability to transparently and accountably conduct yourself on behalf of the local government community."
Mr MacSporran said the use of private emails presented a transparency issue.
"If you don't know about the account you can't recover it, you can't look at it. (The use of private emails) is all designed to avoid scrutiny," Mr MacSporran said.
"Why are they using a private email account for council business when they have a dedicated business account with the council?
"That immediately raises suspicions. It might be an innocent mixing of their email accounts. It might just be convenience. It could be a whole host of reasons, but it is a very very bad look and gives rise to a perception there is corruption going on."
The QT previously revealed Cr Tully has used private email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and IpswichCityCouncil@gmail.com in relation to council business.
Cr Tully has declined to comment on stories about his use of private email addresses for council related business.