Staffer’s emails lost and found in cyberspace
A MINISTERIAL staffer's emails initially deemed to no longer exist under Right to Information, have been suddenly recovered following a complaint to the State Archivist by the LNP.
The Opposition had been attempting to access the emails generated by QIC employee Daniel Cheverton while he was seconded to Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's office last year.
Mr Cheverton, a former Labor candidate, was helping the newly-minted Treasurer in the lead-up to the Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review.
The LNP was initially told the emails could not be accessed as the account had been deactivated and deleted by the Government's Ministerial Services Branch after Mr Cheverton finished in January
"The Deputy Premier's office have advised that the ministerial account firstname.lastname@example.org is no longer available and therefore cannot be accessed," RTI officers said in response to the initial application.
"The advice provided to the Deputy Premier's office was that when an individual who holds a ministerial role ceases duties in that role, their ministerial email account is disabled and subsequently deleted."
The LNP appealed the decision with the Information Commissioner and was told that the excuse was reasonable as the Ministerial Services Branch had a policy of only retaining email accounts for up to one month after they were no longer being used.
Opposition frontbencher Michael Hart wrote to State Archivist Mike Summerell asking him to investigate if there had been a breach of the Public Records Act.
The emails were located by the ministerial services branch after the complaint and inquiries by The Courier-Mail.
"The relevant emails have been retrieved from the backup system and are available through the normal RTI process," a Government spokesman said. "When a staff member leaves a ministerial office, their email account may be deactivated, but the data within it is still backed up and retained."
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington slammed the process, accusing the Palaszczuk Government of being one of the most secretive in history.
"They have continually looked for any excuse not to release documents to avoid public scrutiny," she said.