The Liberal opposition in the ACT assembly has accused the territory government of "creating a smokescreen" over how a paedophile continued to work for the health service for six months after being arrested on serious child sex charges.
The ACT's shadow health minister Vicki Dunne said she wanted a full explanation of "how someone facing serious child sex abuse charges continued in a job of planning Canberra's health infrastructure including extensions to the Women's and Children's hospital".
Her call came after the revelation that senior manager Bradley John Burch had kept his job after his arrest.
He had continued in internal work chat rooms where parents exchanged pictures of their children, unaware of the child exploitation charges against their colleague in the group.
After requests for more information, the ACT government administration issued a short statement: "When an ACT government employee is charged with a criminal matter they are required to advise their Director General of the charges. The Directorate complies with its obligations to report and investigate under the ACT Reportable Conduct Scheme, which it takes seriously."
Ms Dunne did not think that this statement would satisfy "community concerns". She said the man was in a senior executive position. "He was pretty high up the food chain," she said.
The shadow minister was concerned that the system had failed, saying: "How did the reportable conduct scheme fail to highlight this and what have they done to make sure it doesn't happen again?"
Under the reportable conduct scheme, an allegation of child abuse has to be reported to the ACT ombudsman within 30 days. The ombudsman then decides what action should be taken to protect children, including those of other employees.
The ombudsman's office said: "Given the sensitive nature of these types of matters, we are unable to provide information on individual allegations."
ACT Policing said it didn't comment on matters before the court. A spokesperson said it abided by the "mandatory reporting requirements when investigating allegations relating to children".
But it also had to act within privacy and human rights law.
When Burch was arrested in Fyshwick, the police found a computer and phone with still and video images of "pre-pubescent" girls and boys engaged in sexual acts with adult men and women.
The prosecution evidence to the court was that "on the defendant's mobile phone, police located sexualised conversations relating to children in messaging applications on the device".
The police evidence was that Burch had images of men having sex with children as young as three.
In online chats, he sometimes called himself "daddy" and indicated that he had sex with the child at the other end.
In transcripts obtained by the police, a child appears to have been told that food would be her reward if she committed sexual acts. She said she hadn't eaten for three days.
One online conversation talks of giving a child the sleeping drug, Benadryl, before sex.
It is not clear if these very graphic online conversations were really with children or with an adult posing as a child.
Burch pleaded guilty to having child exploitation material on his phone and also sending child exploitation material to others. He is to be sentenced on the second, more serious charge in July.