The property and construction industry in New South Wales has been rocked by further allegations of corrupt practices.
In the latest development, the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has announced its intention to hold a public inquiry into allegations of corrupt activity on the part of a former employee of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in dealings with UTS contractors with regard to construction and maintenance contracts.
“The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing Monday 24 September 2012 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations that a former University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) employee engaged in corrupt conduct in his dealings with UTS contractors” ICAC says in a statement.
The commission says that as part of an investigation it is conducting into the allocation of UTS contracts for the period spanning January 2006 until April 2012, it will examine allegations that former UTS employee Nabil Faysal solicited and accepted money or other benefits from UTS contractors. In exchange, it is alleged, Faysal either allocated work to those contractors himself or used his position to influence the allocation of UTS work to them.
Though no further specific details were given, ICAC said the contracts in question related to capital and maintenance work.
The Commission says it is also looking into allegations that Faysal breached UTS policies by improperly disclosing confidential university information, failing to disclose conflicts of interest to the university regarding his relationship with contractors and engaging in ‘unauthorised’ secondary employment. Such breaches, it is alleged, were done knowingly and deliberately by Faysal in order to benefit both contractors of the university and himself.
The latest allegations highlight ongoing problems associated with bribery and corruption in the New South Wales property and construction industry.
In February, allegations surfaced that two property development companies paid bribes to a local aboriginal council on the New South Wales coast in an effort to secure properties worth millions of dollars.
And in a report also published earlier this year, ICAC says it has produced no fewer than 30 reports exposing likely or actual corrupt conduct relating to the state’s planning system.