Senior public servant Kathryn Campbell has resigned from her $900,000 a year job following the fallout from the robodebt royal commission.

Ms Campbell, who oversaw the rollout of the illegal income averaging scheme as secretary of the Department of Human Services, was stood down from her advisory job at defence just three days after commissioner Catherine Holmes tabled her report.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the royal commission findings were “very clear about failings” and confirmed Ms Campbell had been suspended without pay.

In a brief statement on Monday, Defence confirmed she had left her job as an adviser on AUKUS.

“Defence can confirm it has accepted Ms Kathryn Campbell’s resignation from the Department with effect from Friday 21 July 2023,” the statement said.

“Defence will not provide further comment on this matter.”

Ms Campbell served as secretary of the Department of Human Services from March 2011 to September 2017 before being promoted to lead the Department of Social Services and then Foreign Affairs and Trade.

She was dumped by Labor after its election win in May last year, but was then handed the $900,000-a-year job on the AUKUS security pact in the Department of Defence last June.

When grilled on the appointment in Senate Estimates last month, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the decision was made prior to the royal commission beginning and that the evidence that emerged during the hearings went “beyond what I anticipated”.

Commissioner Catherine Hayes SC, a former Chief Justice of the Queensland Supreme Court, handed down her findings in a three volume document more than 900 pages in length in early July.

Ms Campbell was singled out in the report’s findings, with the royal commission blasting the public servant for repeatedly failing to act on the scheme’s flaws.

“Ms Campbell had been responsible for a department that had established, implemented and maintained an unlawful program,” the royal commission report said.

“When exposed to information that brought to light the illegality of income averaging, she did nothing of substance. When presented with opportunities to obtain advice on the lawfulness of that practice, she failed to act.”

During questioning at the royal commission, Ms Campbell denied intentionally misleading the government.

“I have never been in a department that sought to mislead. And I have never been involved in an operation that has sought to mislead the government,” she said.



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By Rahul

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