Education Minister must explain why taxpayers are footing the bill for legal fees against Integrity Commission


Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee has called on the Education Minister to explain why ACT taxpayers are paying the legal fees for the head of the Education Directorate in her lawsuit against the Integrity Commission.

The ACT Government has confirmed that it is paying the legal costs for Ms Haire in her bid to have the corruption investigation into the Campbell Primary Modernisation Project shut down.

Ms Lee said under the Law Officers Legal Services Directions 2023, the purpose of the provision of public servants getting ‘assistance’ with legal fees is clear that it’s for defending any proceedings arising out of action that’s within the scope of their employment, not for commencing them.

Further, the directions specifically state that assistance is not provided if a public servant is ‘defending professional or personal disciplinary investigation or action’ and that any provision of legal assistance may be rejected or withdrawn if the ACT government is not given notice of legal proceedings.

“It is incomprehensible that the Education Minister continues to deny having any knowledge of the court proceedings when ACT taxpayers are footing the bill. Canberrans have every right to be outraged by this,” Ms Lee said.

“The Chief Minister, Attorney-General and the Education Minister need to front the public and explain why ACT taxpayers are paying the legal fees for a Supreme Court application to try and stop a serious corruption investigation.

“Who approved the payment of the legal fees for this Supreme Court application and what were the reasons?

“And having agreed to pay the legal fees, does the ACT government support this Supreme Court application seeking to shut down the Integrity Commission investigation?”