Criminal History Checks

1 Introduction

The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) undertakes a criminal history check as part of its recruitment process to maintain public and client confidence in OIC’s performance of its statutory functions. The criminal history check is conducted in accordance with the provisions in the Public Service Commission Directive No. 7/11 ‘Employment Screening’.

2 Purpose

To set out the policy governing criminal history checks in OIC’s recruitment process.

3 Effective

Date Approved by the Acting Information Commissioner on 28 November 2012.

4 References

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

5 Application

As part of OIC’s recruitment process, every successful applicant undergoes a criminal history check prior to appointment.

The Information Commissioner is authorised to have regard to criminal history when engaging persons for particular duties to ensure the engaged person is suitable to perform the duties.1 The Information Commissioner has decided that this applies to all OIC duties performed in all OIC positions.This position reflects both the high degree of trust placed on integrity bodies by the Queensland community and the practical reality that there is an inherent interchangeability of job roles and duties within OIC.

All new employees, for both substantive and temporary positions,will be required to undergo a criminal history check as a pre-condition of employment. Casual employees may be required to undergo a criminal history check at the discretion of the Information Commissioner. Existing employees and employees moving within OIC will not be subject to a criminal history check.

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 will include Queensland, the Commonwealth, other States and Territories jurisdictions and the New Zealand jurisdiction (as appropriate).

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 of work in OIC.

6 Written Consent

A successful applicant’s criminal history will not be obtained without the consent of an applicant.2 However, the absence of consent will result in the applicant not being offered a position within OIC.3

Once the applicant has been chosen as being the most suitable person for the position, OIC will request the applicant to complete a written consent (Attachment A) for the obtaining of the criminal history and to provide suitable documentation to confirm proof of identity.The applicant will be given seven (7) calendar days to provide the consent and identity documentation.

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.4 

7 Criminal History Assessment

The Information Commissioner will assess the criminal history record and determine suitability for engagement with OIC.5

7.1 Natural Justice

Natural justice will be afforded an applicant if their criminal history may adversely affect a decision to appoint them 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.

8 Documentation and Confidentiality

Strict confidentiality of criminal history information will be observed at all times.6 All documents associated with the criminal history checks will be securely managed by the Information Commissioner and destroyed after the appeal and judicial review timeframes have expired.7

The criminal history check documents include:

  • The consent form;
  • Proof of identity documents submitted as part of the criminal history check process;
  • Correspondence to and from the Queensland Police Service;
  • 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.  

Download Appendix A - Criminal Record Consent Form (PDF, 206.62 KB)

1 Section 151(1)(a) of the Public Service Act 2008.(PS Act)
2 Section 152 of the PS Act.
3 Section 153 of the PS Act.
4 Section 153(3) of the PS Act.
5 Section 165D of the PS Act
6 Section 172 of the PS Act.
7 In accordance with the Queensland State Archives 11.10.3 of the General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records : QDAN249 v.6 and section 169 of the PS Act.