WA’s corruption watchdog will scrutinise another multimillion-dollar deal signed off by corrupt bureaucrat John Fullerton, this one unearthed by the McGowan Government’s own inquiry into the WA Health scandal.
The Sunday Times can also reveal 13 State agencies signed 15 contracts with the 11 now-banned contractors exposed in August’s bombshell Corruption and Crime Commission’s report into corruption in the North Metropolitan Health Service.
Of the 15 contracts worth $6.73 million, 11 have been terminated and four are in the process of being cancelled.
The original CCC investigation — codenamed Operation Neil — found Mr Fullerton, along with senior Health bureaucrats David Mulligan and Shaun Ensor, awarded their mates lucrative government tenders.
In return, the CCC found they received a range of backhanders such as free interstate and overseas travel, cash payments, free lunches and dinners, tickets to major sporting events and in Mr Fullerton’s case, a cut-price refurbishment of his family home. The Finance Department review, overseen by the Public Sector Commission on Premier Mark McGowan’s instruction, will be tabled when Parliament resumes Tuesday week.
The review also found:
GOVERNMENT agencies such as the Legal Practice Board, Water Corporation WA, the Public Transport Authority, the Department of Communities, the Industrial Relations Commission and even Treasury had been ensnared in the scandal.
ANABSENCE of a consistent approach to procurement across the WA public sector led to an increased risk for misconduct.
RECORD keeping and financial reporting within the 129 WA government agencies could be improved to “ensure greater accountability and transparency” in government.
The report specifically highlighted substantial issues with two government contracts, one of which has been referred to the CCC.
That contract between QED Environmental Services and the North Metropolitan Health Service was signed off by Mr Fullerton in October 2015. It relates to QED undertaking asbestos management in various medical facilities under a five-year deal which has since been terminated. More than $2.7 million was paid to the company.
The review found the contract did not comply with the relevant procurement policies and processes.
The other major revelation related to a $1.06 million ad hoc agreement between the Disability Services Commission and contractor Westside Fire Services which the report described as the result of poor procurement practices.
Mr McGowan said WA’s exposure “was generally limited, beyond what has already been identified by the CCC” but “two particular issues were discovered and these are both being addressed”.
“The review did also raise concerns regarding the lack of a consistent approach to procurement, which is something that is being addressed by government through public sector reform.”
The ban on the contractors remains until further notice.