Criminal History Checks

1 Introduction

The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) undertakes a criminal history check as part the recruitment process to maintain public and client confidence in the performance of its statutory functions.

The criminal history check is conducted in accordance with the provisions of Public Service Commission Directive No. 7/11 ‘Employment Screening’.

2 Purpose

To set out the policy and procedure for criminal history checks.

3 Effective

Approved by the Information Commissioner on 3 August 2018.

4 References

  • Public Service Commission Directive No. 7/11 ‘Employment Screening’
  • Public Service Act 2008
  • Public Records Act 2002
  • Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service

5 Application

This policy and procedure applies to public service employees, contractors, students and volunteers engaged at the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC).

6 Policy

The Information Commissioner is authorised to have regard to criminal history when considering engaging persons to perform relevant duties to ensure the person is suitable to perform the duties. Due to its functions and the nature of information accessible, the Information Commissioner has determined that all roles within OIC require the performance of ‘relevant duties’.

A criminal history check will be undertaken for all prospective temporary and permanent employees prior to being offered an engagement with OIC. Criminal history checks will be undertaken for casual employees, volunteers and contractors as assessed and advised by the Information Commissioner on a case by case basis.

Existing OIC employees moving within OIC may be required to undertake a criminal history check when moving into a different role that has additional financial or legislative requirements. Screening of temporary employees who are being considered for permanent roles is at the discretion of the Information Commissioner.

The criminal history will not take into account convictions that are not required to be disclosed in accordance with the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986. The criminal history check will include Queensland, the Commonwealth, other States and Territories jurisdictions and the New Zealand jurisdiction (as appropriate).

A New Zealand criminal history check will be undertaken where the prospective employee has resided in New Zealand for a period of greater than 6 months in the preceding 10 years.

Having a criminal history will in itself not prevent a successful applicant from being appointed to a position in OIC. The particular criminal history will be assessed against the duties, responsibilities and operational requirements in OIC.

7 Written Consent

A criminal history will not be obtained without the consent of an applicant.  Should, however, an applicant not consent, the Information Commissioner is not required to further consider the applicant for engagement.

OIC will request interviewed applicants to complete a written consent form (Attachment A) and provide suitable documentation to confirm proof of identity to obtain a criminal history. Only applicants recommended for engagement will be screened for criminal history prior to the selection decision being finalised. Consent forms for other applicants will be confidentially destroyed.  Any concerns regarding this process should be raised with the interviewer.

Merit listed applicants subsequently considered for employment will be asked to complete a new consent form and a criminal history check will be completed before any offer of engagement is made.

If the applicant does not provide written consent and proof of identity within 7 days of the request and provides no reasonable explanation for the failure, the applicant may be considered to have refused consent. In this event, the Information Commissioner is not required to consider the applicant for engagement.

8 Criminal History Assessment

The Information Commissioner will assess the applicant’s suitability to perform the duties which required screening and must consider the relevance of any offence to the nature of the duties performed.

In making the assessment the Information Commissioner will consider:

  • the seriousness and frequency of any relevant offence
  • the amount of time elapsed since any relevant offence happened and the penalty imposed
  • whether any relevant offence is still a crime, and
  • any relevant work history of the person in the Queensland public service.

9 Natural Justice

Natural justice will be afforded an applicant if their criminal history may adversely affect a decision to offer them appointment to a position with OIC. The applicant will be given the opportunity to provide a written submission concerning a criminal history and the Information Commissioner will consider both the criminal history and any information provided in the applicant’s submission in deciding whether to engage the applicant.

10 Documentation and Confidentiality

Strict confidentiality of criminal history information will be observed at all times. All criminal history reports will be securely managed by the Information Commissioner.

The criminal history check documents include:

  • Correspondence to and from the Queensland Police Service and/or the New Zealand Police (if applicable);
  • Correspondence to and from the applicant regarding the criminal history; and
  • The Information Commissioner’s reason(s) for finding the person unsuitable to perform relevant duties as a result of a criminal history.

11 Definitions

Relevant duties has the meaning prescribed in s151 of the Public Service Act 2008.

Download Appendix A - Criminal Record Consent Form (PDF, 120.36 KB)