Operation Esperance

IBAC is holding public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in Victoria's public transport sector.

The hearings are part of IBAC's investigation, Operation Esperance into allegations of serious corrupt conduct during the tendering, procurement and subsequent management of major contracts within V/Line and Metro.

The hearings start on Monday 26 October and will be publicly video streamed. Due to current Victorian COVID-19 health directions, the hearings cannot be attended in person by members of the public.

The hearings focus on:

  • the transparency and integrity of major services procurements and tendering processes within the public transport sector in Victoria, following the special report to Parliament in December 2017 of Operation Lansdowne, including but not limited to, conflicts of interest, undeclared relationships and gifts to public officers that may give rise to actual or perceived corrupt conduct
  • whether public officers involved in major contract tender and procurement processes have been improperly influenced through monetary incentives, donations, gifts, or other hospitality and the circumstances surrounding any actual or potential financial benefits obtained by any public officer that may have influenced procurement and tendering processes within the public transport sector in Victoria
  • the systems and controls in place within the public transport sector concerning procurements and tendering for major contracts, with particular focus on the existence and adequacy of systems and controls for ensuring the integrity of the procurement process, including by detecting instances of public officers obtaining corrupt benefits or being unduly influenced by contractors
  • if the investigation of the above matters identifies serious corrupt conduct on the part of one or more current or former public officers, the extent to which (if at all) organisational culture and practices have fostered that conduct or hindered opportunities or attempts to detect and eliminate that conduct
  • the extent to which any suspected corrupt conduct identified above has infiltrated the public transport sector's tendering and procurement processes, across the major public transport operators in Victoria.

The hearings are being presided over by IBAC's Commissioner The Honourable Robert Redlich QC. Counsel Assisting is Paul Lawrie of the Victorian Bar together with Joseph Amin, Principal Lawyer of IBAC.

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is encouraged to report it at www.ibac.vic.gov.au/report or phone 1300 735 135.

Witnesses

Witness lists will be published here at the beginning of each hearing day.

Transcripts

No transcripts are available at this time.

Looking after the welfare of people at IBAC hearings

Please see information for witnesses.

Media

Media are asked to register their interest in the hearings.

For updates on the hearings, follow @ibacVic or #IBACEsperance.

Media releases

No media releases are available at this time.

Media contact

0427 480 840 or media@ibac.vic.gov.au

Please note: interviews will not be available.

Receiving exhibits and transcripts

To receive exhibits shown and restricted transcripts during the Operation Esperance public hearings, media representatives must sign and return this public hearings exhibit and transcript request form  including a declaration relating to the use and publication/broadcast of that material.

Suppression orders

IBAC's Commissioner may make a suppression or other orders at any time. Media are advised to check for these, which will be made at the hearings. Contact 0427 480 840 or media@ibac.vic.gov.au if you require clarification.