A reputation expert has slammed the Government's handling of the costly investigation into Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell over the time it took and public nature of it.

But employment experts say it was handled appropriately and the six months it took to investigate is not uncommon.

Maxwell was cleared of bullying allegations last Wednesday and was back on the job working on Thursday after being forced to take gardening leave for six months.

The allegations surfaced at the end of November and on December 12 the State Services Commission appointed Queen's Counsel Maria Dew to investigate on the request of