Investigation summaries

Operation Carson

IBAC received a notification from the then Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (the Department) regarding allegations of an undeclared conflict of interest and misuse of position by a senior employee.

It was alleged the employee had engaged in serious corrupt conduct by improperly using their position to provide business opportunities for their partner. It was also alleged the employee had an undeclared financial interest in their partner's private business. Once the employee's conduct was raised with the Department by industry stakeholders, the Department acted swiftly to alert IBAC and promptly complied with IBAC's requests for information.

  • IBAC commenced Operation Carson in June 2016, and used a range of investigation powers to conduct the investigation. Amongst other measures, IBAC: 

    • issued more than 60 summonses including 18 for information from financial institutions
    • interviewed 29 witnesses
    • took fourteen witness statements
    • seized and analysed mobile phones and digital devices
    • held seven private examinations.
  • Although the employee resigned while under investigation, IBAC substantiated allegations they provided preferential access and treatment to their partner. IBAC also established the employee and their partner were engaged in a private business that had not been declared to the agency. The employee sought to exploit the knowledge and networks they had developed through their public sector employment to further their business interests. The employee failed to declare their conflicts of interest and did not act in the public interest.   

  • IBAC identified opportunities for the Department to review its policies and procedures and provide appropriate training to staff to address the corruption vulnerabilities identified in IBAC's investigation, including in relation to:

    • conflicts of interest
    • gifts, benefits and hospitality
    • information management and security measures.

    As a result, the Department has built and strengthened their integrity frameworks, particularly in the areas identified above. It has committed to continue to strengthen training and awareness activities, including the introduction of a mandated training program for all staff to embed awareness of integrity policies and related matters.

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