Theft, fraud or assault by a public official is 'misconduct'

THERE were seven complaints made against public officials across the West Moreton region in the past year.

Queensland Ombudsman figures - which include Ipswich, Boonah and Esk - reveal the most common complaint levelled against public officials was misconduct.

The Ombudsman has wide-sweeping powers to investigate complaints levelled against state agencies, local councils or public universities.

Queensland Ombudsman Phil Clarke said the term 'official misconduct' covered a wide range of complaints that could, if proven, result in dismissal.

"A substantiated finding of official misconduct does not necessarily mean an officer will be dismissed," he said.

"Other forms of disciplinary action might be considered more appropriate in the circumstances."

Mr Clarke said the majority of complaints levelled against officials came from an employee within the organisation.

He said anonymous complaints were also fully investigated.

"Some examples of this type of complaint include allegations of fraud, theft, inappropriate use of force or assault, unauthorised use of confidential information, inappropriate behaviour towards clients or staff and favouritism in recruitment decisions," Mr Clarke said.

"Action to be taken when a complaint is substantiated depends on the specifics of the case."

Of the 670 complaints made across the state last year, 47.3% were substantiated, 10.1% were partially substantiated and 38.2% were not substantiated.

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