Qld public servant drunk, had sex at work

Sonia Kohlbacher

Queensland's former electoral commissioner was drunk and using drugs at work, bullied staff and was caught in a sexual act with a temporary employee, an investigation has found.

Walter van der Merwe, 56, resigned from his senior public service role in February after being suspended over seven allegations levelled against him.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath on Thursday confirmed in state parliament that a number of those accusations were substantiated by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

They include Mr van der Merwe being caught in a sexual act with a staff member, being intoxicated at work, failing to show up to work without a reasonable excuse and directing senior officials not to discipline staff he was friends with.

He also overruled decisions made by senior officials relating to staff he was friends with, and stored and used steroids at work.

"It is clear there are a range of improvements required to be made to the governance and accountability arrangements that operate throughout the (Electoral Commission Queensland)," Ms D'Ath said.

"It is important to note that the issues contained in the CCC's investigation are not related to the outcome of any election, they are however very serious."

Among its recommendations the CCC advised the ECQ develop and implement a policy outlining the parameters of formal and informal contact between MPs and the electoral commissioner.

It follows Mr van der Merwe receiving text messages from a number of MPs requesting information on the electoral boundaries and vote counts, Ms D'Ath added.

"CCC officers did not raise an allegation in relation to this behaviour as these types of contacts were considered inherent to his role," she said.

Ms D'Ath announced the appointment of Pat Vidgen as the new acting electoral commissioner while recruitment for a more permanent commissioner is underway.

Mr Vidgen has 28 years of experience in Queensland's public sector and was most recently General Manager of Strategic Engagement with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation.

Mr van der Merwe was fined $600 after being caught with steroids.