THE state's corruption watchdog has criticised Tasmania Police over its handling of an investigation of an officer allegedly paid money by a drug offender.
The officer, whose rank and location were not identified in the otherwise largely positive report, was investigated after another officer complained.
The probe by Tasmania Police's internal investigation unit, known as professional standards, ultimately cleared the officer.
But the Integrity Commission audit found the investigation had not acted on advice provided by a senior officer to professional standards.
``The audit revealed that many of these suggested lines of inquiries had not been followed, and that there were no records detailing why they had not been actioned,'' the commission's report released yesterday said.
Tasmania Police said some of the suggested lines of inquiry were not ``deemed necessary as the investigation progressed''.
``It should be noted that in any investigation there are many possibilities, and it is not a requirement that all are pursued,'' Deputy Commissioner of police Scott Tilyard said.
Another investigation revealed an officer had an association with a known drug dealer, but allegations he was present during a drug deal were unfounded.
``Aspects of the police officer's association appear suspicious and reflect more than poor judgment on the part of the officer,'' the commission said.
The report said the drug dealer was not interviewed during the course of the investigation and no ``intelligence analysis was attached to the file''.
Further enquiries were warranted, the commission said.
Tasmania Police played down the association but said it ordered the officer to immediately cease to associate, either directly or indirectly, with the person in question.
In 2012 Tasmania Police dealt with 96 complaints involving about 150 allegations against officers.
The first audit of its type found 26 of the allegations were proven with more than half being regarded as class two misconduct.
Class 2 covers more serious allegations including corruption, crime, drug use or distribution, and breach of honesty and integrity.
The most common class 2 complaints related to criminal misconduct, then discrediting the police force and excessive force.
The commission said overall Tasmania Police was managing its complaint system well.
``While Tasmania Police does not agree with every aspect of the Integrity Commission's audit report, it is always open to ways in which it can improve its performance,'' Deputy Commissioner of police Scott Tilyard said.