A former Sydney University ICT manager has been found corrupt, following an investigation by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
In a report released today, ICAC found that Jason Meeth engaged in serious corrupt conduct by improperly exercising his functions as a university official. While in the role, he gave preferential treatment to Canberra Solutions in selecting the company’s candidates to work at the university as ICT contractors.
ICAC found that between February 2012 and July 2013, Meeth arranged for nine Canberra Solutions ICT contractors to be engaged by the university. In each case, he arranged for the contractors to be nominated though an ICT contracts supplier.
The commission said that once appointed, the performance of the Canberra Solutions contractors was, in some case, unsatisfactory. Some had their services terminated prematurely, or their contracts not renewed due to their poor work performance.
Canberra Solutions received $1.6 million from the university of which it kept about $800,000 in profit. This is compared to the standard contractual arrangement where recruitment companies receive about 10 per cent of the fee paid by the university, with the balance going to the contractor.
Canberra Solutions was managed by Balu Moothedath and his wife and as part of its investigation, ICAC examined whether or not Meeth received any rewards for favouring the organisation.
ICAC found that while aspects of the evidence examined may suggest that Meeth received cash payments from Moothedath, there is no direct evidence that Moothedath paid Meeth.
“The ICAC is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions with respect to the prosecution of Moothedath for offences of giving false or misleading evidence to the Commission and attempting to procure false evidence,” ICAC said in a statement.
Since the investigation, a new ‘whole of government’ labour hire processes has been adopted, which forbids subcontracting arrangements. Sydney University has taken action to more tightly control its labour hire processes.
ICAC commenced an investigation last year following a compliant it received in 14 July 2014 from Sean McNulty, the university’s former procurement and contracts manager about Meeth.
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