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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Lucy Bladen

Supreme Court hears application to block release of CIT integrity report

The ACT's Chief Justice is set to rule on an application for an injunction into the release of an integrity report into contracts awarded by the Canberra Institute of Technology early next week.

The ACT Supreme Court heard the application for an injunction into the report's release on Friday.

The ACT Integrity Commission was due to hand over its report this week into its investigation into the more than $8.5 million worth of contracts to a "complexity and systems thinker".

But a person has sought an injunction to prevent the integrity commissioner from handing over the report to Legislative Assembly Speaker Joy Burch.

Under the Integrity Commission Act, the commissioner is required to provide the report to the Speaker when the report is completed. The commission revealed earlier this week it had intended to do this on Wednesday.

"Following the completion of procedural fairness requirements under the Integrity Commission Act 2018 (the Act), the commissioner's special report into an aspect of its Operation Luna investigation has been completed," a commission spokesperson said.

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum, inset, has heard an injunction application against the release of a report by the ACT Integrity Commission into contracts awarded by CIT. Pictures by Sitthixay Ditthavong, Elesa Kurtz

"Interested parties were informed on Friday 14 June 2024 of the commissioner's intention to provide the report to the Speaker [on Wednesday]."

The contents of the hearing and the name of the person who brought the application are suppressed.

ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum is set to make a decision early next week.

The release of a report by the ACT Integrity Commission into contracts awarded by CIT is facing an injunction application. Picture by Sitthixay Ditthavong

The commission is investigating more than $8.5 million awarded to companies owned by Patrick Hollingworth over a five-year period to help with organisation transformation. These include Think Garden and Redrouge Nominees.

The investigation has been going on for two years. The commission publicly revealed it was undertaking an investigation on June 23, 2022.

ACT Skills Minister Chris Steel, who is responsible for CIT, said he could not comment on the legal action earlier this week but said he would like to see a resolution on the matter.

"I think we all want to see a resolution of this matter and my view, in particular, is I want to see the institution continue to focus on delivering high quality training and meet the needs of the students ... whilst also supporting the needs of staff," he told the ABC.

The head of the ACT Education Directorate launched a legal bid last year to shut down a corruption investigation examining her and other directorate officials. Director-General Katy Haire alleged there was an apprehended bias in the investigation into the procurement for an expansion of Campbell Primary School.

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