Inquiry into Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA), WA Branch

This statement has been prepared in response to media inquiries received by the Registered Organisations Commission on 14 October 2022:

14 October 2022

An inquiry conducted under section 330 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act (RO Act) in relation to the WA Branch of the Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) commenced on 27 January 2021 and concluded on 20 September 2022.

The Inquiry was conducted in response to a protected disclosure made to the ROC after the Branch conducted its own investigations regarding alleged conduct by a former Branch Secretary, raising concerns about whether particular expenditure incurred using Branch funds may have been personal in nature and/or may have amounted to contraventions of Angela Briant’s duties as an officer under the RO Act.

It was conducted in accordance with the ROC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy and sought to establish whether civil penalty provisions of the RO Act may have been contravened.

The RO Act imposes duties on officers of organisations, in relation to financial management, to act with due care and diligence, to act in good faith, and not to use their position or information available to them to advantage themselves or others or to cause detriment to the organisation.

The Branch voluntarily cooperated with the ROC both during the initial assessment of this matter and during the Inquiry, including by providing relevant information and documents sought by the ROC.

While it emerged in the inquiry that the former Branch Secretary appeared to have benefitted from the expenditure of Branch funds which were in some cases apparently unrelated to Branch business and/or personal in nature, the ROC determined it would not be in the public interest to progress the matter further.

This conclusion was reached by considering factors such as time, resources and costs that would be required to conduct a formal investigation as well as the clear view expressed by the Branch that it no longer wishes to pursue the matter, expend any additional resources or incur further costs associated with an investigation.

The ROC will make no further comment at this time.