Published on 25 August 2021
The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, The Hon. Ann Vanstone QC, has today published a report to inform public officers working in local government about the potential corruption issues present in council facilities maintenance practices.
The report, entitled Facilities Maintenance in Local Government, profiles core prevention issues revealed by several ICAC corruption investigations.
“Procurement in general is a high corruption risk activity. Procurement as it relates to facilities management has some unique features that can make it more susceptible to corruption,” Commissioner Vanstone says.
The report outlines how ICAC investigations have revealed improper conduct in council facilities management procurement, such as council staff:
- seeking inducements as a reward for awarding contracts
- awarding contracts to a company in which the procuring officer has an interest
- writing a supplier’s submission
- awarding contracts to public officers employed by the council (or their relatives) where the public officers were in positions giving rise to conflicts of interest
ICAC investigations have also revealed evidence of improper conduct by suppliers, such as:
- colluding to set prices for maintenance work
- seeking confidential information from councils
- undertaking unnecessary inspection, testing, cleaning and maintenance of facilities
“I believe it is in the public interest to set out some general observations arising from these investigations. I hope this will prompt councils and public officers working in facilities management to assess the corruption risks in their systems and practices, and to strengthen relevant controls,” Commissioner Vanstone says.
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