The head of advertising at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) took legal action against the agency after it alleged he failed to properly use government funding when he only partially attended an awards night to network.
Richard Denver is the head of advertising at the bureau. In a 2014 Facebook video he noted the agency had the largest number of followers of any government agency.
Denver had planned to attend an Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) awards night as part of a work trip.
But a code of conduct investigation initiated by the BOM found that he breached Australian public service rules. According to court documents, the bureau alleged that he missed a large part of an ADMA awards event. It also alleged that he attended the ballet "in conflict with" his attendance at the awards ceremony.
The primary purpose of the work trip, the agency said, was "to network with other industry professionals".
The investigation found that "missing a large portion of a work function paid for by the Commonwealth is not using those resources in a 'proper manner' and for their 'proper purpose'."
But Denver challenged the investigation in the Federal Court. He sought judicial review of all allegations, arguing that the investigation was improperly managed and that the findings themselves were an "improper exercise of power".
The dispute has centred in part on whether the purpose of the trip was largely to network at the ADMA awards, and if so whether Denver failed to do that by attending the awards late.
On the failure to attend part of the awards ceremony, Denver's claim states that "the applicant arrived at the awards whilst presentations were ongoing (and whilst that was the case there was no opportunity to network)".
It went on to say that "after the presentations concluded the applicant was able to network with other industry professionals ... There was no 'failing' to attend the ADMA dinner as asserted in the suspected breach".
Before the matter was scheduled for hearing, the bureau and Denver settled the dispute. The Federal Court's orders, made by consent between the parties, disclose that the bureau agreed to set aside the findings in their entirety. They also agreed to pay Denver's costs.
A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology said: "The Bureau will not make public comment on individual staff or legal matters."
When contacted directly Denver directed BuzzFeed News to the bureau's media team, asking that they 'manage the matter as deemed appropriate by the bureau'.