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Library director should have been sacked: report

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ)'s former director of corporate affairs should have been sacked over three years ago for having thousands of pornographic images on his work-issued mobile phone and iPad.

Instead, Bruce MacGregor was allowed to resign in July 2013, despite state government legislation that required his sacking.

This fact was made clear in private investigators' evidence to November's Hunter Inquiry into the SLQ's lewd photo scandal, which has been released under Right to Information legislation.

The Ashdale Workplace Solutions (AWS) report into the inquiry found the library's decision to let Mr MacGregor resign was against government guidelines.

The Public Service Commission's telecommunications policy, adopted in 2007, states:  "Employees found to be intentionally accessing, downloading, storing or distributing pornography using government-owned information and communication technology (ICT) facilities and devices will be dismissed."

Comment was sought from both the library and its board, headed by Jan Thomas, as to why it did not dismiss Mr MacGregor, as dictated by policy. Fairfax Media has received no reply.


AWS also provided this information to then-state librarian Janette Wright on January 23, 2013.

The following day, Ms Wright met with the then-SLQ chairman Roly Sussex to discuss how to handle the issue.

When approached on Wednesday, Professor Sussex declined to clarify whether he had asked for Mr MacGregor's dismissal, or for Mr MacGregor's resignation.

"I am not going to comment at all," he said. "Professor (Jan) Thomas is the person to discuss these matters."

Mr MacGregor and Ms Wright both attended SLQ board meetings as members.

The AWS report shows Professor Sussex, as board chairman, had called for the January 24 meeting.

Three days before that meeting, Ms Wright had discussed three options "off-site" with a person whose name was removed from the document released through Right to Information legislation.

Those options included Mr MacGregor's resignation, the immediate termination of his contract, or "commencing disciplinary action likely to lead to dismissal".

Mr MacGregor was allowed to tender a resignation letter a month later, on February 22, which did not come into effect until July 2013. He remained on sick leave from late January 2013 until the termination of his contract.

A media strategy to allow Mr MacGregor to exit "from the State Library while maintaining his privacy" was approved on May 20, 2013.

Fairfax Media investigations subsequently discovered Mr MacGregor had taken close-up photographs of female SLQ staff members' breasts.

Legal spending by the SLQ to deal with workplace matters more than tripled from $54,111 in 2012-13 to $175,610 in 2014-15.

The private investigators' evidence, gathered between 2012 and early 2013, showed forensic analysts had to retrieve "thumbnails of 2784 images, which indicated that the full-sized images had been deleted".

"A large proportion of these were of females, either partially of fully undressed, including images showing genitalia," the report says.

Other evidence in the report showed Mr MacGregor left a meeting with Ms Wright, where he was confronted over allegations he used his mobile phone to take lewd photos of female staff and young girls.

"A witness reported that Mr MacGregor went to the men's bathroom with his phone in his hand, where he stayed for about 35 minutes despite attempts by colleagues to offer assistance and to coax him out," the report states.

Whistleblower Daniel Abel said he was not surprised by the information revealed by the Hunter inquiry.

"I would like to say how disappointed I am with the Crime and Corruption Commission, the Queensland Ombudsman's office and legal and integrity services within the department," he said.

"I raised my concerns with them and they never dealt with those concerns appropriately, which has led to the situation we are in today."

Comment was sought from Ms Wright, who in October declined to re-apply for her position.

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