Mr Quaedvlieg at the Senate Estimates at Parliament House in Canberra in 2016. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Mr Quaedvlieg at the Senate Estimates at Parliament House in Canberra in 2016. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Border Force boss sent 'salacious texts' to younger woman

SIDELINED Border Force boss Roman Quaedvlieg sent salacious messages to a younger woman while she was applying for a job in his organisation - but he strenuously denies they were in a relationship at the time.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Martin Parkinson's report into Mr Quaedvlieg is understood to have found he breached the public service Code of Conduct because of the relationship with his much younger girlfriend, who worked on a casual basis at Sydney Airport.

Sidelined Australian Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg.
Sidelined Australian Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg.

Dr Parkinson's report examined whether the 52-year-old improperly influenced her employment prospects and whether he properly declared and disclosed the existence of the relationship at the appropriate time.

The report does not dictate what sanctions or penalties should be taken.

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But Attorney-General Christian Porter, who has received advice from the Solicitor-General, has a range of options available to him. This includes exonerating, counselling, reprimanding, sacking or demoting Mr Quaedvlieg.

Dr Parkinson's report, handed to Mr Porter last month, is understood to include intimate and salacious exchanges between Mr Quaedvlieg and his girlfriend before she started working for the organisation he ran.

The independent anti-corruption agency, Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, is understood to have accessed the communications.

The powerful agency, which has the power to intercept phone calls and access data without physically seizing a mobile phone, launched an investigation last year but made no corruption findings against Mr Quaedvlieg.

The Daily Telegraph understands the agency then passed on its information to Dr Parkinson, who conducted his own investigation.

Mr Quaedvlieg has sent his own report to Mr Porter in which he strenuously denies that he was romantically involved with his girlfriend when she applied for a job at Sydney Airport. Sources familiar with the contents of both reports told The Daily Telegraph that Mr Quaedvlieg claims the flirtatious communications cited in Dr Parkinson's report have been taken out of context and do not show that a romantic relationship had started when she got the job in December 2016.

Mr Quaedvlieg claims the flirtatious communications cited in Dr Parkinson’s report have been taken out of context.
Mr Quaedvlieg claims the flirtatious communications cited in Dr Parkinson’s report have been taken out of context.

Mr Quaedvlieg declined to comment on Dr Parkinson's report.

"I wish to maintain the in-confidence nature of Dr Parkinson's report and my subsequent response to that report and I await a decision from the Attorney-General," he said. "I have co-operated in good faith ... I will make further public comment once the Attorney-General's decision has been made and conferred to me."

Mr Quaedvlieg has previously argued he carefully kept his distance from her job application, which was done through an independent selection process run by an external recruiter.

She was one of hundreds of casual employees hired by Border Force to conduct frontline work including assisting passengers and scanning passports. At the time of the job application, Mr Quaedvlieg was still married to his wife of 11 years, whom he separated from in January 2017.

He says his relationship with his girlfriend did not start until after she had already secured the low-ranking position.

He stepped aside on May 27 last year.



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