The Australian federal police conducted six internal investigations in the past 18 months into alleged professional misconduct of officers who had been newly approved to access telecommunications data, Guardian Australia can reveal.
The latest revelations will heighten concern about the AFP’s handling of Australians’ personal information, after it revealed it had unlawfully accessed a journalist’s phone records without a warrant.
The AFP commissioner, Andrew Colvin, admitted on Friday the agency had unlawfully accessed a journalist’s metadata without obtaining a “journalist information warrant”, a requirement imposed on it since 2015.
Following the federal government’s data retention amendments, the AFP also tightened up the list of officers who could sign off on internal authorisations for Australians’ metadata.
Guardian Australia obtained a list of the identities of these officers and sought access to professional standards investigations finalised in the past 18 months.
The documents released show there were six professional standards investigations launched.