The latest public gaffe by Queensland’s troubled Department of Health has raised questions over whether civil law breaches should be more closely scrutinised in the pre-employment screening stage.
It has emerged this week that Queensland Health employed a senior IT manager for five years who had previously been ordered to pay Australia’s highest ever damages order over software piracy.
Brent McArdle, former head of multimillion-dollar internet services company LogicWorld, was ordered by the Federal Court in 2001 to pay damages of $210,000 for using pirated software to the value of $142,058.
In a statement from Queensland Health, a spokesman said McArdle had “not been convicted of any criminal offence,” adding “A police check was undertaken prior to his employment, and there was no criminal history precluding his employment. The criminal history check process ... does not cover civil matters.”
Queensland Health failed to comment on whether they were aware of McArdle’s chequered past, and the then chair of the Business Software Alliance (formally BSAA) Jim MacNamara said given the company had used 182 pirated programs, “It's not very probable that it was done accidentally or without the knowledge of management.”
Involvement in civil proceedings in publicly available information in all states. Most pre-employment screening agencies will search records held with the Supreme Court of a specific state and/or records held with the Federal Court of Australia to determine whether a person has been involved in both criminal and federal court actions, and particularly civil matters which may expose a business risk.
Start the clock! T minus 12 months to engage staff
Do your 2012 grads seem like aliens?
Shift focus to quality, not quantity