Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

There seem to be common problems with NSW and Queensland Department of Education "Investigations".

Queensland teachers are not the only Department of Education employees who seem to be having problems with departmental "investigations"..

Even if you have access to excellent advice on dealing with an untruthful or malicious allegation against you, it still seems that there is very little hope of a logical outcome to the situation because -

1) You cannot believe that the Queensland or NSW Department of Education would treat an employee unjustly - so you are totally unprepared. 

2) A malicious person can make an untruthful allegation about you that will destroy your career, your health, leave you with no income, etc - and they will not suffer at all. They may even enjoy the situation.

3) An investigator, if appointed, will be paid by the department and controlled by the department.

So he or she may seem to feel obliged to produce a "finding" that is acceptable to the department.

4) If finding the allegations "substantiated" becomes problematic, the original allegations may vanish and other allegations may be introduced.

5) A child may say something that is untrue. Children sometimes do this when they are afraid to tell their parents the truth - or when they know that their parents do not want to hear the truth.

6) So the department lose your integrity, skills and experience. 

7) And you lose your reputation, your income, your health and, maybe, your home. 

One Department of Education employee's alleged experience is described in this blog- 

 https: //sackedunfairly.blogspot.com/

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MmmmSACKED UNFAIRLY BY NSW EDUCATION

Monday, March 6, 2023
The following matter involves what I consider unjust treatment by the NSW Department of Education of a technical IT employee. My observation of the matter is qualified by some forty years’ service as a police and civil investigator. 

Professional Ethical Standards (PES) is an essential facility to ensure DoE employees adhere to acceptable standards of ethical and professional conduct. What the following matter suggests however, is that PES investigators themselves appear to ignore those guidelines in pursuance of others. If the following matter is indicative of ethical and professional standards practised by the PES, then there is a serious problem and a definite lack of accountability.

If I had not personally witnessed every aspect of what I am about to describe, I most certainly would never have believed that an instrument of Australian government service could be capable of the following behaviour.

The matter involves a senior IT Support analyst with the NSW Department of Education being served a notice of dismissal for alleged professional impropriety involving data access.

This highly experienced senior technician with a twenty (20) year unblemished service record suddenly and unexpectedly found himself the target of a PES investigation. The investigation was instigated at the insistence of a person with an established history of public mischief and an openly stated agenda to 'destroy' the employee's reputation. The PES informant also has a (police) recorded history of malicious mischief and harassment against the employee.

The allegations themselves were wide and varied, bearing little or no relationship to the Department of Education or this technician's employment.  The informant has in fact been charged by police with serious criminal offences in relation to attacks against the employee and his family.

Despite the absence of departmental relevance, the appointed PES investigator nevertheless proceeded to personally investigate them. Obviously well 'handled' by a practised and manipulative informant, the investigator made it clear from the very beginning that she personally considered the employee guilty and the informant unquestionably veracious. 

 When interviewing the employee, the investigator’s attitude was noticeably aggressive, accusatory and incredulous. Far from open and objective, the investigator displayed little or no interest in anything the employee said or offered in his defence. This attitude continued even when interviewing witnesses, including the employee’s supervisor to whom the investigator made several incredibly inappropriate statements including; “how many times has he (the employee) turned up for work inebriated?” and "you're just covering up for a mate".  The supervisor was so disgusted by this and other comments made by the investigator that he saw fit to file a formal complaint.

The employee provided technical, testimonial and pathological evidence to completely refute all of the original allegations however the PES investigator remained fixated on securing a case against him.

Some twelve months later the original investigator was, quite suspiciously, removed from this case to be taken over by a newly appointed investigator, a former police officer with lengthy, though from all reports, unremarkable service. A person who describes himself on social media as having a focus on serious child protection concerns, an attitude, as you will see, not obvious at any time during this investigation.

The replacement investigator indicated a desire to continue with the original allegations in what can only be seen as an attempt to ‘cover up’ his colleague’s ineptitude and avoid departmental embarrassment. He was eventually overruled by a (now replaced) higher authority who sensibly directed that all of the original allegations be dismissed

One would expect that that would have been the end of it for this badly persecuted and traumatised employee but no, having found themselves totally humiliated and shown up as naïve at best and incompetent at worst, PES investigators continued to pursue the employee by turning the whole exercise into an all-out witch hunt.

For more than a year, the PES absorbed and endorsed information provided by the informant before it became obvious, even to them, that the allegations were maliciously motivated and incredible. Interestingly, the PES responded to this realisation by conveniently removing any mention of the original informant and his allegations from the final report.

The new approach adopted by PES investigators involved interviewing the employee’s former partner (of ten years previous), a person regarded by NSW police as a vexatious complainant in relation to this employee and others. The current partner of the original informant, this person also has an openly declared family law motivated agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee’s reputation.

Despite offering up several fantastical and easily dismissed historical allegations, the employee’s former partner, encouraged by PES investigators, volunteered her (and the employee’s) ten-year old son up as a witness. Very much under the influence and control of his mother at the time, the child was enthusiastically interviewed by PES investigators without the employee’s knowledge or consent. Prompted by his mother and devoured by PES investigators, the child’s only utterance was that he once asked his father whether or not a new kid in the street would be attending the same school as himself.

The primary function of the PES has to be the protection and interest of children however, by encouraging an emotionally vulnerable ten-year-old dependent child displaying symptoms of parental alienation syndrome to make allegations against his own father in a non-child protection matter, is ethically wrong. To make matters worse, PES investigators would have been fully aware at the time that the consequences of encouraging this child to make an employment related allegation against his father would inevitably impact on the child himself. 

The child was only temporarily domiciled with his mother when interviewed by the PES and it should be noted that, prior to the child’s mother taking a temporary interest in him, he has lived with his father for the majority of his life – where he continues to reside to this date. The investigator's actions in using the child to unwittingly assist them destroy his father's career and livelihood, has effectively made the child and his two infant siblings’ financial victims.

The petty and completely harmless incident described by the child now became the 'base' complaint to justify continuation of the PES investigation, thus extending the inquisition for a further twelve months. Throwing resources into this investigation as if the future of safe education in the state of NSW depended on it (when in reality the future of the PES depended on it), investigators scrutinised the employee’s data usage going back years hoping to find some irregularity, indiscretion or other on which to hang their hat.

Despite their efforts, the only matter on which the PES were able to adversely report was in direct relationship to the matter involving the neighbourhood child. When consulting a senior person within the Department, the employee was told that it was common knowledge that you “just go along with the PES, because anyone who challenges them never comes out well”. Had he accepted that advice, a sensible outcome would have been a verbal or written caution considering the lack of credible evidence and total absence of departmental or public impact. The employee reacted as most would however by refusing to admit to something that he simply did not do, regardless of the harmlessness and pettiness of the allegation.

The employee vehemently denies any wrong doing and provided substantial proof to support that any access he might have had in relation to that child’s data would have been in accordance with his normal day to day duties. The alleged incident occurred some four years previous, during a period when the employee was required to access and adjust data for hundreds of public-school enrolees every month – including the said neighbourhood child.

 Concerned by the openly aggressive and accusatory manner of the PES investigator, the employee considered it imperative that he review the data log himself to determine if and when he accessed that data. In doing so he was able to confirm that, yes he did access that data but did so one week after the child had already started school (a fact that his son would have been well aware of as they travelled together). At the same time, he noticed a small irregularity in the school’s request log for assistance involving technician names (requests for IT assistance are often confusing as they go through several hands). This prompted the employee to instinctively and harmlessly correct that data with regard to the attendee technician.

Although completely harmless and only relevant to the alleged ‘base’ incident, the PES immediately assumed that any correction or alteration of data had to have been fraudulently motivated. Again, investigators refused to listen to technical and procedural reasoning as provided by the employee and others. There is certainly no ‘fraud’ involved and if the ‘base’ allegation has no legitimacy – which it hasn’t - then any related data correction occurrence has no relevance.

Regardless of anything else, the ‘base’ allegation on which the PES relies emanated from an emotionally controlled ten-year-old child completely under the influence of his maliciously motivated mother and her partner – the latter as mentioned being a person of very questionable character.

Not even the PES have inferred or suggested that anything the employee has allegedly done caused harm or infringed upon anybody’s privacy. This cannot however be said of PES investigators who, apart from using a vulnerable child to their own advantage, appear to have committed quite a number of serious improprieties during the investigation including (child related) privacy violations and at least one breach of the Family Law Act.

The employee’s alleged action/s actually pale in comparison to the procedural and ethical improprieties committed by PES investigators, yet the Department of Education has refused to even acknowledge receipt of several legitimate and documented complaints – let alone investigate them.

The persistence and vehemence in which the PES have carried out the latter stage of their investigation in particular has served no purpose other than to cover-up their own inadequacies and incompetence. All that has been achieved by the PES in their unrealistic pursuance of this employee is to cause serious personal, financial and professional harm to an honest employee and his family. It has also served to deprive the Department and its clients of a highly trained and valuable asset.

The Reader will understandably consider the foregoing circumstances with some reservation given that it is almost inconceivable to believe that is all there is to it. Sadly it is all very true and represents the entire case against this employee, no dishonesty, no harm caused, just this one and totally disputed allegation of an employee addressing his son’s question on whether or not a neighbourhood child would be attending the same school. A disputed incident that allegedly occurred some four years previous. 

The fact that a known antagonist with an established agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee was able to set in motion a two-year investigation in the first place is outrageous. For it to continue even after dismissal of the originating allegations is beyond outrageous.

The warning to existing and potential employees is that a disturbing precedent has been set for those vulnerable or potentially vulnerable to external mischief from similarly motivated antagonists. As witnessed in this instance, PES investigators are prone to accept mischievous allegations on face value and dismiss argument to the contrary. The PES obviously has no regard for employees, their families or even functionality of the Department of Education itself.

At the moment, the Department of Education cannot be considered a safe or even desirable place to work given that anybody targeted by the PES is likely to end up in the same boat. The PES have shown an apparent attitude of regarding complainants as having more credibility than employees and consider targeted employees as 'guilty until proven innocent' - well that may not be completely correct given how the PES show little interest in even entertaining the possibility of an employee being innocent.

If there are readers who have already had a similar experience with the PES – and I am certain that there are, your contribution will be most welcome as we have no intention of letting this matter rest. The PES appear to have no regard for how their self-justifying actions affect targeted employees/families, functionality of the Department in general or expenditure of public money. 

The Department of Education cannot continue losing so many highly trained and productive employees at the rate that has been happening just to satisfy the ‘need’ for a PES. Costs associated with re-hiring and training skilled workers is after all coming out of the public purse. There urgently needs to be an inquiry into the PES via an independent facility or panel to ensure PES investigators are themselves accountable for unethical behaviour.

All of the complaints filed against the PES in relation to the above matter, have been completely ignored.SACKED UNFAIRLY BY NSW EDUCATION

Monday, March 6, 2023
The following matter involves what I consider unjust treatment by the NSW Department of Education of a technical IT employee. My observation of the matter is qualified by some forty years’ service as a police and civil investigator. 

Professional Ethical Standards (PES) is an essential facility to ensure DoE employees adhere to acceptable standards of ethical and professional conduct. What the following matter suggests however, is that PES investigators themselves appear to ignore those guidelines in pursuance of others. If the following matter is indicative of ethical and professional standards practised by the PES, then there is a serious problem and a definite lack of accountability.

If I had not personally witnessed every aspect of what I am about to describe, I most certainly would never have believed that an instrument of Australian government service could be capable of the following behaviour.

The matter involves a senior IT Support analyst with the NSW Department of Education being served a notice of dismissal for alleged professional impropriety involving data access.

This highly experienced senior technician with a twenty (20) year unblemished service record suddenly and unexpectedly found himself the target of a PES investigation. The investigation was instigated at the insistence of a person with an established history of public mischief and an openly stated agenda to 'destroy' the employee's reputation. The PES informant also has a (police) recorded history of malicious mischief and harassment against the employee.

The allegations themselves were wide and varied, bearing little or no relationship to the Department of Education or this technician's employment.  The informant has in fact been charged by police with serious criminal offences in relation to attacks against the employee and his family.

Despite the absence of departmental relevance, the appointed PES investigator nevertheless proceeded to personally investigate them. Obviously well 'handled' by a practised and manipulative informant, the investigator made it clear from the very beginning that she personally considered the employee guilty and the informant unquestionably veracious. 

 When interviewing the employee, the investigator’s attitude was noticeably aggressive, accusatory and incredulous. Far from open and objective, the investigator displayed little or no interest in anything the employee said or offered in his defence. This attitude continued even when interviewing witnesses, including the employee’s supervisor to whom the investigator made several incredibly inappropriate statements including; “how many times has he (the employee) turned up for work inebriated?” and "you're just covering up for a mate".  The supervisor was so disgusted by this and other comments made by the investigator that he saw fit to file a formal complaint.

The employee provided technical, testimonial and pathological evidence to completely refute all of the original allegations however the PES investigator remained fixated on securing a case against him.

Some twelve months later the original investigator was, quite suspiciously, removed from this case to be taken over by a newly appointed investigator, a former police officer with lengthy, though from all reports, unremarkable service. A person who describes himself on social media as having a focus on serious child protection concerns, an attitude, as you will see, not obvious at any time during this investigation.

The replacement investigator indicated a desire to continue with the original allegations in what can only be seen as an attempt to ‘cover up’ his colleague’s ineptitude and avoid departmental embarrassment. He was eventually overruled by a (now replaced) higher authority who sensibly directed that all of the original allegations be dismissed

One would expect that that would have been the end of it for this badly persecuted and traumatised employee but no, having found themselves totally humiliated and shown up as naïve at best and incompetent at worst, PES investigators continued to pursue the employee by turning the whole exercise into an all-out witch hunt.

For more than a year, the PES absorbed and endorsed information provided by the informant before it became obvious, even to them, that the allegations were maliciously motivated and incredible. Interestingly, the PES responded to this realisation by conveniently removing any mention of the original informant and his allegations from the final report.

The new approach adopted by PES investigators involved interviewing the employee’s former partner (of ten years previous), a person regarded by NSW police as a vexatious complainant in relation to this employee and others. The current partner of the original informant, this person also has an openly declared family law motivated agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee’s reputation.

Despite offering up several fantastical and easily dismissed historical allegations, the employee’s former partner, encouraged by PES investigators, volunteered her (and the employee’s) ten-year old son up as a witness. Very much under the influence and control of his mother at the time, the child was enthusiastically interviewed by PES investigators without the employee’s knowledge or consent. Prompted by his mother and devoured by PES investigators, the child’s only utterance was that he once asked his father whether or not a new kid in the street would be attending the same school as himself.

The primary function of the PES has to be the protection and interest of children however, by encouraging an emotionally vulnerable ten-year-old dependent child displaying symptoms of parental alienation syndrome to make allegations against his own father in a non-child protection matter, is ethically wrong. To make matters worse, PES investigators would have been fully aware at the time that the consequences of encouraging this child to make an employment related allegation against his father would inevitably impact on the child himself. 

The child was only temporarily domiciled with his mother when interviewed by the PES and it should be noted that, prior to the child’s mother taking a temporary interest in him, he has lived with his father for the majority of his life – where he continues to reside to this date. The investigator's actions in using the child to unwittingly assist them destroy his father's career and livelihood, has effectively made the child and his two infant siblings’ financial victims.

The petty and completely harmless incident described by the child now became the 'base' complaint to justify continuation of the PES investigation, thus extending the inquisition for a further twelve months. Throwing resources into this investigation as if the future of safe education in the state of NSW depended on it (when in reality the future of the PES depended on it), investigators scrutinised the employee’s data usage going back years hoping to find some irregularity, indiscretion or other on which to hang their hat.

Despite their efforts, the only matter on which the PES were able to adversely report was in direct relationship to the matter involving the neighbourhood child. When consulting a senior person within the Department, the employee was told that it was common knowledge that you “just go along with the PES, because anyone who challenges them never comes out well”. Had he accepted that advice, a sensible outcome would have been a verbal or written caution considering the lack of credible evidence and total absence of departmental or public impact. The employee reacted as most would however by refusing to admit to something that he simply did not do, regardless of the harmlessness and pettiness of the allegation.

The employee vehemently denies any wrong doing and provided substantial proof to support that any access he might have had in relation to that child’s data would have been in accordance with his normal day to day duties. The alleged incident occurred some four years previous, during a period when the employee was required to access and adjust data for hundreds of public-school enrolees every month – including the said neighbourhood child.

 Concerned by the openly aggressive and accusatory manner of the PES investigator, the employee considered it imperative that he review the data log himself to determine if and when he accessed that data. In doing so he was able to confirm that, yes he did access that data but did so one week after the child had already started school (a fact that his son would have been well aware of as they travelled together). At the same time, he noticed a small irregularity in the school’s request log for assistance involving technician names (requests for IT assistance are often confusing as they go through several hands). This prompted the employee to instinctively and harmlessly correct that data with regard to the attendee technician.

Although completely harmless and only relevant to the alleged ‘base’ incident, the PES immediately assumed that any correction or alteration of data had to have been fraudulently motivated. Again, investigators refused to listen to technical and procedural reasoning as provided by the employee and others. There is certainly no ‘fraud’ involved and if the ‘base’ allegation has no legitimacy – which it hasn’t - then any related data correction occurrence has no relevance.

Regardless of anything else, the ‘base’ allegation on which the PES relies emanated from an emotionally controlled ten-year-old child completely under the influence of his maliciously motivated mother and her partner – the latter as mentioned being a person of very questionable character.

Not even the PES have inferred or suggested that anything the employee has allegedly done caused harm or infringed upon anybody’s privacy. This cannot however be said of PES investigators who, apart from using a vulnerable child to their own advantage, appear to have committed quite a number of serious improprieties during the investigation including (child related) privacy violations and at least one breach of the Family Law Act.

The employee’s alleged action/s actually pale in comparison to the procedural and ethical improprieties committed by PES investigators, yet the Department of Education has refused to even acknowledge receipt of several legitimate and documented complaints – let alone investigate them.

The persistence and vehemence in which the PES have carried out the latter stage of their investigation in particular has served no purpose other than to cover-up their own inadequacies and incompetence. All that has been achieved by the PES in their unrealistic pursuance of this employee is to cause serious personal, financial and professional harm to an honest employee and his family. It has also served to deprive the Department and its clients of a highly trained and valuable asset.

The Reader will understandably consider the foregoing circumstances with some reservation given that it is almost inconceivable to believe that is all there is to it. Sadly it is all very true and represents the entire case against this employee, no dishonesty, no harm caused, just this one and totally disputed allegation of an employee addressing his son’s question on whether or not a neighbourhood child would be attending the same school. A disputed incident that allegedly occurred some four years previous. 

The fact that a known antagonist with an established agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee was able to set in motion a two-year investigation in the first place is outrageous. For it to continue even after dismissal of the originating allegations is beyond outrageous.

The warning to existing and potential employees is that a disturbing precedent has been set for those vulnerable or potentially vulnerable to external mischief from similarly motivated antagonists. As witnessed in this instance, PES investigators are prone to accept mischievous allegations on face value and dismiss argument to the contrary. The PES obviously has no regard for employees, their families or even functionality of the Department of Education itself.

At the moment, the Department of Education cannot be considered a safe or even desirable place to work given that anybody targeted by the PES is likely to end up in the same boat. The PES have shown an apparent attitude of regarding complainants as having more credibility than employees and consider targeted employees as 'guilty until proven innocent' - well that may not be completely correct given how the PES show little interest in even entertaining the possibility of an employee being innocent.

If there are readers who have already had a similar experience with the PES – and I am certain that there are, your contribution will be most welcome as we have no intention of letting this matter rest. The PES appear to have no regard for how their self-justifying actions affect targeted employees/families, functionality of the Department in general or expenditure of public money. 

The Department of Education cannot continue losing so many highly trained and productive employees at the rate that has been happening just to satisfy the ‘need’ for a PES. Costs associated with re-hiring and training skilled workers is after all coming out of the public purse. There urgently needs to be an inquiry into the PES via an independent facility or panel to ensure PES investigators are themselves accountable for unethical behaviour.

All of the complaints filed against the PES in relation to the above matter, have been completely ignored.SACKED UNFAIRLY BY NSW EDUCATION

Monday, March 6, 2023
The following matter involves what I consider unjust treatment by the NSW Department of Education of a technical IT employee. My observation of the matter is qualified by some forty years’ service as a police and civil investigator. 

Professional Ethical Standards (PES) is an essential facility to ensure DoE employees adhere to acceptable standards of ethical and professional conduct. What the following matter suggests however, is that PES investigators themselves appear to ignore those guidelines in pursuance of others. If the following matter is indicative of ethical and professional standards practised by the PES, then there is a serious problem and a definite lack of accountability.

If I had not personally witnessed every aspect of what I am about to describe, I most certainly would never have believed that an instrument of Australian government service could be capable of the following behaviour.

The matter involves a senior IT Support analyst with the NSW Department of Education being served a notice of dismissal for alleged professional impropriety involving data access.

This highly experienced senior technician with a twenty (20) year unblemished service record suddenly and unexpectedly found himself the target of a PES investigation. The investigation was instigated at the insistence of a person with an established history of public mischief and an openly stated agenda to 'destroy' the employee's reputation. The PES informant also has a (police) recorded history of malicious mischief and harassment against the employee.

The allegations themselves were wide and varied, bearing little or no relationship to the Department of Education or this technician's employment.  The informant has in fact been charged by police with serious criminal offences in relation to attacks against the employee and his family.

Despite the absence of departmental relevance, the appointed PES investigator nevertheless proceeded to personally investigate them. Obviously well 'handled' by a practised and manipulative informant, the investigator made it clear from the very beginning that she personally considered the employee guilty and the informant unquestionably veracious. 

 When interviewing the employee, the investigator’s attitude was noticeably aggressive, accusatory and incredulous. Far from open and objective, the investigator displayed little or no interest in anything the employee said or offered in his defence. This attitude continued even when interviewing witnesses, including the employee’s supervisor to whom the investigator made several incredibly inappropriate statements including; “how many times has he (the employee) turned up for work inebriated?” and "you're just covering up for a mate".  The supervisor was so disgusted by this and other comments made by the investigator that he saw fit to file a formal complaint.

The employee provided technical, testimonial and pathological evidence to completely refute all of the original allegations however the PES investigator remained fixated on securing a case against him.

Some twelve months later the original investigator was, quite suspiciously, removed from this case to be taken over by a newly appointed investigator, a former police officer with lengthy, though from all reports, unremarkable service. A person who describes himself on social media as having a focus on serious child protection concerns, an attitude, as you will see, not obvious at any time during this investigation.

The replacement investigator indicated a desire to continue with the original allegations in what can only be seen as an attempt to ‘cover up’ his colleague’s ineptitude and avoid departmental embarrassment. He was eventually overruled by a (now replaced) higher authority who sensibly directed that all of the original allegations be dismissed

One would expect that that would have been the end of it for this badly persecuted and traumatised employee but no, having found themselves totally humiliated and shown up as naïve at best and incompetent at worst, PES investigators continued to pursue the employee by turning the whole exercise into an all-out witch hunt.

For more than a year, the PES absorbed and endorsed information provided by the informant before it became obvious, even to them, that the allegations were maliciously motivated and incredible. Interestingly, the PES responded to this realisation by conveniently removing any mention of the original informant and his allegations from the final report.

The new approach adopted by PES investigators involved interviewing the employee’s former partner (of ten years previous), a person regarded by NSW police as a vexatious complainant in relation to this employee and others. The current partner of the original informant, this person also has an openly declared family law motivated agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee’s reputation.

Despite offering up several fantastical and easily dismissed historical allegations, the employee’s former partner, encouraged by PES investigators, volunteered her (and the employee’s) ten-year old son up as a witness. Very much under the influence and control of his mother at the time, the child was enthusiastically interviewed by PES investigators without the employee’s knowledge or consent. Prompted by his mother and devoured by PES investigators, the child’s only utterance was that he once asked his father whether or not a new kid in the street would be attending the same school as himself.

The primary function of the PES has to be the protection and interest of children however, by encouraging an emotionally vulnerable ten-year-old dependent child displaying symptoms of parental alienation syndrome to make allegations against his own father in a non-child protection matter, is ethically wrong. To make matters worse, PES investigators would have been fully aware at the time that the consequences of encouraging this child to make an employment related allegation against his father would inevitably impact on the child himself. 

The child was only temporarily domiciled with his mother when interviewed by the PES and it should be noted that, prior to the child’s mother taking a temporary interest in him, he has lived with his father for the majority of his life – where he continues to reside to this date. The investigator's actions in using the child to unwittingly assist them destroy his father's career and livelihood, has effectively made the child and his two infant siblings’ financial victims.

The petty and completely harmless incident described by the child now became the 'base' complaint to justify continuation of the PES investigation, thus extending the inquisition for a further twelve months. Throwing resources into this investigation as if the future of safe education in the state of NSW depended on it (when in reality the future of the PES depended on it), investigators scrutinised the employee’s data usage going back years hoping to find some irregularity, indiscretion or other on which to hang their hat.

Despite their efforts, the only matter on which the PES were able to adversely report was in direct relationship to the matter involving the neighbourhood child. When consulting a senior person within the Department, the employee was told that it was common knowledge that you “just go along with the PES, because anyone who challenges them never comes out well”. Had he accepted that advice, a sensible outcome would have been a verbal or written caution considering the lack of credible evidence and total absence of departmental or public impact. The employee reacted as most would however by refusing to admit to something that he simply did not do, regardless of the harmlessness and pettiness of the allegation.

The employee vehemently denies any wrong doing and provided substantial proof to support that any access he might have had in relation to that child’s data would have been in accordance with his normal day to day duties. The alleged incident occurred some four years previous, during a period when the employee was required to access and adjust data for hundreds of public-school enrolees every month – including the said neighbourhood child.

 Concerned by the openly aggressive and accusatory manner of the PES investigator, the employee considered it imperative that he review the data log himself to determine if and when he accessed that data. In doing so he was able to confirm that, yes he did access that data but did so one week after the child had already started school (a fact that his son would have been well aware of as they travelled together). At the same time, he noticed a small irregularity in the school’s request log for assistance involving technician names (requests for IT assistance are often confusing as they go through several hands). This prompted the employee to instinctively and harmlessly correct that data with regard to the attendee technician.

Although completely harmless and only relevant to the alleged ‘base’ incident, the PES immediately assumed that any correction or alteration of data had to have been fraudulently motivated. Again, investigators refused to listen to technical and procedural reasoning as provided by the employee and others. There is certainly no ‘fraud’ involved and if the ‘base’ allegation has no legitimacy – which it hasn’t - then any related data correction occurrence has no relevance.

Regardless of anything else, the ‘base’ allegation on which the PES relies emanated from an emotionally controlled ten-year-old child completely under the influence of his maliciously motivated mother and her partner – the latter as mentioned being a person of very questionable character.

Not even the PES have inferred or suggested that anything the employee has allegedly done caused harm or infringed upon anybody’s privacy. This cannot however be said of PES investigators who, apart from using a vulnerable child to their own advantage, appear to have committed quite a number of serious improprieties during the investigation including (child related) privacy violations and at least one breach of the Family Law Act.

The employee’s alleged action/s actually pale in comparison to the procedural and ethical improprieties committed by PES investigators, yet the Department of Education has refused to even acknowledge receipt of several legitimate and documented complaints – let alone investigate them.

The persistence and vehemence in which the PES have carried out the latter stage of their investigation in particular has served no purpose other than to cover-up their own inadequacies and incompetence. All that has been achieved by the PES in their unrealistic pursuance of this employee is to cause serious personal, financial and professional harm to an honest employee and his family. It has also served to deprive the Department and its clients of a highly trained and valuable asset.

The Reader will understandably consider the foregoing circumstances with some reservation given that it is almost inconceivable to believe that is all there is to it. Sadly it is all very true and represents the entire case against this employee, no dishonesty, no harm caused, just this one and totally disputed allegation of an employee addressing his son’s question on whether or not a neighbourhood child would be attending the same school. A disputed incident that allegedly occurred some four years previous. 

The fact that a known antagonist with an established agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee was able to set in motion a two-year investigation in the first place is outrageous. For it to continue even after dismissal of the originating allegations is beyond outrageous.

The warning to existing and potential employees is that a disturbing precedent has been set for those vulnerable or potentially vulnerable to external mischief from similarly motivated antagonists. As witnessed in this instance, PES investigators are prone to accept mischievous allegations on face value and dismiss argument to the contrary. The PES obviously has no regard for employees, their families or even functionality of the Department of Education itself.

At the moment, the Department of Education cannot be considered a safe or even desirable place to work given that anybody targeted by the PES is likely to end up in the same boat. The PES have shown an apparent attitude of regarding complainants as having more credibility than employees and consider targeted employees as 'guilty until proven innocent' - well that may not be completely correct given how the PES show little interest in even entertaining the possibility of an employee being innocent.

If there are readers who have already had a similar experience with the PES – and I am certain that there are, your contribution will be most welcome as we have no intention of letting this matter rest. The PES appear to have no regard for how their self-justifying actions affect targeted employees/families, functionality of the Department in general or expenditure of public money. 

The Department of Education cannot continue losing so many highly trained and productive employees at the rate that has been happening just to satisfy the ‘need’ for a PES. Costs associated with re-hiring and training skilled workers is after all coming out of the public purse. There urgently needs to be an inquiry into the PES via an independent facility or panel to ensure PES investigators are themselves accountable for unethical behaviour.

All of the complaints filed against the PES in relation to the above matter, have been completely ignored.SACKED UNFAIRLY BY NSW EDUCATION

Monday, March 6, 2023
The following matter involves what I consider unjust treatment by the NSW Department of Education of a technical IT employee. My observation of the matter is qualified by some forty years’ service as a police and civil investigator. 

Professional Ethical Standards (PES) is an essential facility to ensure DoE employees adhere to acceptable standards of ethical and professional conduct. What the following matter suggests however, is that PES investigators themselves appear to ignore those guidelines in pursuance of others. If the following matter is indicative of ethical and professional standards practised by the PES, then there is a serious problem and a definite lack of accountability.

If I had not personally witnessed every aspect of what I am about to describe, I most certainly would never have believed that an instrument of Australian government service could be capable of the following behaviour.

The matter involves a senior IT Support analyst with the NSW Department of Education being served a notice of dismissal for alleged professional impropriety involving data access.

This highly experienced senior technician with a twenty (20) year unblemished service record suddenly and unexpectedly found himself the target of a PES investigation. The investigation was instigated at the insistence of a person with an established history of public mischief and an openly stated agenda to 'destroy' the employee's reputation. The PES informant also has a (police) recorded history of malicious mischief and harassment against the employee.

The allegations themselves were wide and varied, bearing little or no relationship to the Department of Education or this technician's employment.  The informant has in fact been charged by police with serious criminal offences in relation to attacks against the employee and his family.

Despite the absence of departmental relevance, the appointed PES investigator nevertheless proceeded to personally investigate them. Obviously well 'handled' by a practised and manipulative informant, the investigator made it clear from the very beginning that she personally considered the employee guilty and the informant unquestionably veracious. 

 When interviewing the employee, the investigator’s attitude was noticeably aggressive, accusatory and incredulous. Far from open and objective, the investigator displayed little or no interest in anything the employee said or offered in his defence. This attitude continued even when interviewing witnesses, including the employee’s supervisor to whom the investigator made several incredibly inappropriate statements including; “how many times has he (the employee) turned up for work inebriated?” and "you're just covering up for a mate".  The supervisor was so disgusted by this and other comments made by the investigator that he saw fit to file a formal complaint.

The employee provided technical, testimonial and pathological evidence to completely refute all of the original allegations however the PES investigator remained fixated on securing a case against him.

Some twelve months later the original investigator was, quite suspiciously, removed from this case to be taken over by a newly appointed investigator, a former police officer with lengthy, though from all reports, unremarkable service. A person who describes himself on social media as having a focus on serious child protection concerns, an attitude, as you will see, not obvious at any time during this investigation.

The replacement investigator indicated a desire to continue with the original allegations in what can only be seen as an attempt to ‘cover up’ his colleague’s ineptitude and avoid departmental embarrassment. He was eventually overruled by a (now replaced) higher authority who sensibly directed that all of the original allegations be dismissed

One would expect that that would have been the end of it for this badly persecuted and traumatised employee but no, having found themselves totally humiliated and shown up as naïve at best and incompetent at worst, PES investigators continued to pursue the employee by turning the whole exercise into an all-out witch hunt.

For more than a year, the PES absorbed and endorsed information provided by the informant before it became obvious, even to them, that the allegations were maliciously motivated and incredible. Interestingly, the PES responded to this realisation by conveniently removing any mention of the original informant and his allegations from the final report.

The new approach adopted by PES investigators involved interviewing the employee’s former partner (of ten years previous), a person regarded by NSW police as a vexatious complainant in relation to this employee and others. The current partner of the original informant, this person also has an openly declared family law motivated agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee’s reputation.

Despite offering up several fantastical and easily dismissed historical allegations, the employee’s former partner, encouraged by PES investigators, volunteered her (and the employee’s) ten-year old son up as a witness. Very much under the influence and control of his mother at the time, the child was enthusiastically interviewed by PES investigators without the employee’s knowledge or consent. Prompted by his mother and devoured by PES investigators, the child’s only utterance was that he once asked his father whether or not a new kid in the street would be attending the same school as himself.

The primary function of the PES has to be the protection and interest of children however, by encouraging an emotionally vulnerable ten-year-old dependent child displaying symptoms of parental alienation syndrome to make allegations against his own father in a non-child protection matter, is ethically wrong. To make matters worse, PES investigators would have been fully aware at the time that the consequences of encouraging this child to make an employment related allegation against his father would inevitably impact on the child himself. 

The child was only temporarily domiciled with his mother when interviewed by the PES and it should be noted that, prior to the child’s mother taking a temporary interest in him, he has lived with his father for the majority of his life – where he continues to reside to this date. The investigator's actions in using the child to unwittingly assist them destroy his father's career and livelihood, has effectively made the child and his two infant siblings’ financial victims.

The petty and completely harmless incident described by the child now became the 'base' complaint to justify continuation of the PES investigation, thus extending the inquisition for a further twelve months. Throwing resources into this investigation as if the future of safe education in the state of NSW depended on it (when in reality the future of the PES depended on it), investigators scrutinised the employee’s data usage going back years hoping to find some irregularity, indiscretion or other on which to hang their hat.

Despite their efforts, the only matter on which the PES were able to adversely report was in direct relationship to the matter involving the neighbourhood child. When consulting a senior person within the Department, the employee was told that it was common knowledge that you “just go along with the PES, because anyone who challenges them never comes out well”. Had he accepted that advice, a sensible outcome would have been a verbal or written caution considering the lack of credible evidence and total absence of departmental or public impact. The employee reacted as most would however by refusing to admit to something that he simply did not do, regardless of the harmlessness and pettiness of the allegation.

The employee vehemently denies any wrong doing and provided substantial proof to support that any access he might have had in relation to that child’s data would have been in accordance with his normal day to day duties. The alleged incident occurred some four years previous, during a period when the employee was required to access and adjust data for hundreds of public-school enrolees every month – including the said neighbourhood child.

 Concerned by the openly aggressive and accusatory manner of the PES investigator, the employee considered it imperative that he review the data log himself to determine if and when he accessed that data. In doing so he was able to confirm that, yes he did access that data but did so one week after the child had already started school (a fact that his son would have been well aware of as they travelled together). At the same time, he noticed a small irregularity in the school’s request log for assistance involving technician names (requests for IT assistance are often confusing as they go through several hands). This prompted the employee to instinctively and harmlessly correct that data with regard to the attendee technician.

Although completely harmless and only relevant to the alleged ‘base’ incident, the PES immediately assumed that any correction or alteration of data had to have been fraudulently motivated. Again, investigators refused to listen to technical and procedural reasoning as provided by the employee and others. There is certainly no ‘fraud’ involved and if the ‘base’ allegation has no legitimacy – which it hasn’t - then any related data correction occurrence has no relevance.

Regardless of anything else, the ‘base’ allegation on which the PES relies emanated from an emotionally controlled ten-year-old child completely under the influence of his maliciously motivated mother and her partner – the latter as mentioned being a person of very questionable character.

Not even the PES have inferred or suggested that anything the employee has allegedly done caused harm or infringed upon anybody’s privacy. This cannot however be said of PES investigators who, apart from using a vulnerable child to their own advantage, appear to have committed quite a number of serious improprieties during the investigation including (child related) privacy violations and at least one breach of the Family Law Act.

The employee’s alleged action/s actually pale in comparison to the procedural and ethical improprieties committed by PES investigators, yet the Department of Education has refused to even acknowledge receipt of several legitimate and documented complaints – let alone investigate them.

The persistence and vehemence in which the PES have carried out the latter stage of their investigation in particular has served no purpose other than to cover-up their own inadequacies and incompetence. All that has been achieved by the PES in their unrealistic pursuance of this employee is to cause serious personal, financial and professional harm to an honest employee and his family. It has also served to deprive the Department and its clients of a highly trained and valuable asset.

The Reader will understandably consider the foregoing circumstances with some reservation given that it is almost inconceivable to believe that is all there is to it. Sadly it is all very true and represents the entire case against this employee, no dishonesty, no harm caused, just this one and totally disputed allegation of an employee addressing his son’s question on whether or not a neighbourhood child would be attending the same school. A disputed incident that allegedly occurred some four years previous. 

The fact that a known antagonist with an established agenda to ‘destroy’ the employee was able to set in motion a two-year investigation in the first place is outrageous. For it to continue even after dismissal of the originating allegations is beyond outrageous.

The warning to existing and potential employees is that a disturbing precedent has been set for those vulnerable or potentially vulnerable to external mischief from similarly motivated antagonists. As witnessed in this instance, PES investigators are prone to accept mischievous allegations on face value and dismiss argument to the contrary. The PES obviously has no regard for employees, their families or even functionality of the Department of Education itself.

At the moment, the Department of Education cannot be considered a safe or even desirable place to work given that anybody targeted by the PES is likely to end up in the same boat. The PES have shown an apparent attitude of regarding complainants as having more credibility than employees and consider targeted employees as 'guilty until proven innocent' - well that may not be completely correct given how the PES show little interest in even entertaining the possibility of an employee being innocent.

If there are readers who have already had a similar experience with the PES – and I am certain that there are, your contribution will be most welcome as we have no intention of letting this matter rest. The PES appear to have no regard for how their self-justifying actions affect targeted employees/families, functionality of the Department in general or expenditure of public money. 

The Department of Education cannot continue losing so many highly trained and productive employees at the rate that has been happening just to satisfy the ‘need’ for a PES. Costs associated with re-hiring and training skilled workers is after all coming out of the public purse. There urgently needs to be an inquiry into the PES via an independent facility or panel to ensure PES investigators are themselves accountable for unethical behaviour.

All of the complaints filed against the PES in relation to the above matter, have been completely ignored.