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ABC News
By Emilie Gramenz

Queensland Premier's department boss shouldn't be the one to probe annual report allegations, former state archivist says

Rachel Hunter, the director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, will look into the allegations raised by Mr Summerell.  (AAP: Dave Hunt)

Queensland's former state archivist says it's not appropriate to have the director-general of the Premier's department investigate serious allegations he made about his time in the role.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Rachel Hunter, will look into allegations raised by former state archivist Mike Summerell. 

Mr Summerell, who has claimed he was pressured to water down annual reports and that his attempts to obtain Crown Law advice on his independence were never progressed, said a key element of matters being raised relate to public servants putting the political interest of the government above the public interest.

"A senior official whose role is primarily to support the Premier is a poor choice to investigate these matters," Mr Summerell told the ABC.

Mike Summerell says a key element of matters being raised relate to public servants putting the political interest of the government above the public interest. (Supplied)

"I believe that for some the ability to be honest and truthful will be extremely difficult given the seniority and status of this individual."

Mr Summerell stressed the matters he raised do not involve inappropriate interference by the Premier or her office, but relate to matters where others potentially sought to protect the Premier or her office, "whether they needed it or not".

"In addition, should the DG (director-general) find nothing, the conclusions will be attacked because of these potential conflict of interest perceptions and undue influence in terms of restricting honest conversation or provision of information," he said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the director-general was appropriate because she was the head of the public service.

She said she had a conversation with Ms Hunter about the examination on Tuesday.

"She said that she will begin work on that, she will issue those terms, they'll become public, and they'll be released once she's ready," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Annastacia Palaszczuk says director-general Rachel Hunter is appropriate because she is the head of the public service. (AAP: Jono Searle)

Changes to annual reports

On Wednesday, Ms Palaszczuk was asked whether it was common for annual reports to be changed between being submitted and being made public.

"That's a matter for every individual department — sometimes there might be spelling mistakes, sometimes there might be incorrect reporting figures — so from time to time annual reports would be changed," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"If there are any serious allegations, the director-general is the appropriate person to look at that."

When questioned further about whether annual reports were ever altered to suit the political interests of the government, Ms Palaszczuk said: "The director-general will look at those issues".

"I've said the director-general's looking into the matter — I'm not going to elaborate any further," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Health Minister and Leader of the House, Yvette D'Ath, was asked a similar question and said altering reports was "not practice".

"If there's errors that have been identified or anything like that, then it's reasonable to identify any errors and ask for clarification on those, but as far as asking for it to be changed — there shouldn't be interference with annual reports," Ms D'Ath said.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has written to Ms Palaszczuk asking for Queensland Parliament to be recalled early.

"There are questions that must be asked and there are questions that must be answered."

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli wants Ms Palaszczuk to recall Parliament early. (AAP: Albert Perez)

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman called the move a "cheap political stunt".

"We're going back to parliament in two weeks, before the end of the month … he's over-reaching," she said.

Mr Summerell and Queensland's outgoing Integrity Commissioner, Dr Nikola Stepanov, have recently supported calls for an inquiry into integrity matters within the state. 

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