Liberal links reviewed
South Australia’s Office of Public Integrity (OPI) is investigating the state Liberal Party's use of campaign software.
The use of NationBuilder came to light earlier this year, when reports revealed visitors to official state government websites were being redirected through the Liberal Party's NationBuilder account.
NationBuilder builds a database of individual profiles by collecting email addresses and phone numbers, and data on users as they move through third-party websites.
SA Premier Steven Marshall says his government did not deliberately collect data by redirecting users through linked websites.
The state's Privacy Committee investigated and found it “probable” that the government did not facilitate unauthorised data collection.
However, the matter has now been referred to the Office of Public Integrity.
Ombudsman Wayne Lines says the referral came after he conducted his own assessment of the information.
“I've completed my assessment and information that is available to me is that the error or the problem has not arisen from within a government agency over which I have jurisdiction,” he said.
“So you have found corruption, maladministration and misconduct and referred it to the OPI?,” Labor frontbencher Tom Koutsantonis asked.
“Yes,” the ombudsman replied.
The OPI can refer misconduct or maladministration matters to other agencies, including the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC), for investigation.
“A referral ... isn't a determination of guilt and I think that's been the issue with regards to this all the way along,” Premier Steven Marshall said this week.
“We've made it very clear that there was no data harvesting, there was no collection of data and I think that was proven to be completely and utterly factual.
“It was quite a media frenzy for I think weeks if not months where media were out there making pretty outrageous allegations which all proved to be completely and utterly incorrect.”
Meanwhile, the SA Government is considering voting for an SA Best bill that would strip ICAC of its power to investigate misconduct and maladministration.