In August 2015, IBAC received a notification detailing allegations of serious corrupt conduct by a project manager at Darebin City Council.
It was alleged the project manager subverted procurement processes and failed to declare and manage conflicts of interest when engaging suppliers on behalf of the council. It was also alleged the project manager inappropriately disclosed information to ensure a former colleague's company was successful in obtaining road maintenance contracts with the council.
What did IBAC do?
IBAC commenced an investigation called Operation Dorset to determine whether the allegations could be substantiated, and whether other employees were involved in the allegations made against the project manager. IBAC used traditional investigative techniques in the course of this investigation, with entities and individuals involved providing a substantial amount of information to IBAC, either voluntarily or by way of summons. IBAC also obtained formal statements, executed a search warrant on the project manager’s home, and conducted eight private examinations.
What were the outcomes?
IBAC substantiated allegations that the project manager subverted the council's tender and contract management process during the course of their employment. IBAC found the project manager played a critical facilitating role ensuring an associate's company obtained a large financial advantage of more than $16 million in contracts from the council. The project manager obtained benefits that included regular cash payments, free work completed at their private residence by contractors, and the payment of goods. In 2017, the manager resigned while under investigation.