Ombudsman's report slams Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing

THE Queensland Ombudsman has delivered a scathing report into the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing highlighting multiple issues which have affected its ability to regulate licensed premises across the state.

Queensland Ombudsman Phil Clarke said in his report the organisations' ability to investigate compliance matters were largely done ad hoc and were essentially inefficient and unreliable.

"The investigation found little evidence of documented investigative planning," he said.

"Only a small proportion of investigation files contained evidence of any investigative planning, such as a supervisor's instructions to the compliance officer about actions to take, specific reference to relevant legislative elements or licence conditions on file or a compliance officer's file notes outlining what actions they would take."

Mr Clarke said evidence gathering techniques were generally poor and in some cases a pre-determined outcome had earlier been decided.

"The investigation found little recorded evidence on investigation files of attempts to gather sufficient evidence to support the outcomes reached, attempts to substantiate complaints, attempts to corroborate or identify whether the offence could be substantiated," he said.

"Identification of these deficiencies is not surprising given the findings about investigative planning which ordinarily guides the evidence gathering process.

"A smaller number of cases were also identified where the investigation outcomes were predetermined, in that the outcome was set out in the initial instructions to the compliance officer."

Mr Clarke said there was insufficient co-ordination between the OLGR and the Queensland Police Service when handling matters as set out under the Liquor Act.

"There is a lack of shared understanding about roles and responsibilities, a lack of co-ordination around information sharing, inconsistencies in inspection practices and inconsistencies in enforcement practices and use of enforcement tools and escalation," he said.

Mr Clarke made 18 recommendations in his report, which was tabled in State Parliament this week.

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