A senior executive in the Department for Correctional Services has been charged with two counts of abuse of public office and one count of bribery or corruption of a public officer, according to South Australia’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Bruce Lander.
“As part of an extensive and long-running investigation, my investigators executed nine search warrants this morning and two people were arrested,” Lander said in a statement this week.
The executive is a 40-year-old man from Seaton. Another man from the Mt Gambier area, 47, has also been charged.
Between 1 June 2018 and 15 July 2019 the men allegedly colluded to corrupt the tender and procurement processes associated with the $150 million redevelopment of the Yatala Labour Prison in order to financially benefit themselves.
Both men have been bailed to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 21 August 2019.
Lander said he expects members of the business sector will co-operate with the ongoing investigation.
“I believe there are people in the business sector who were involved in the recent tender process for the Yatala Labour Prison Redevelopment management contract, and other persons who were involved in a recent expression of interest process for the modular design of prison cells, who are aware of the public officer’s alleged activities,” Lander said.
Further arrests and charges may come, according to Lander.
A 2018 survey of SA public servants found that almost half of the 12,500 respondents had personally witnessed corruption or inappropriate conduct within their agency.
Conflicts of interest, misuse of power and a failure to fulfil duties were among the reported behaviours, with roughly one in 20 respondents having witnessed bribery, physical assault and people perverting the course of justice.
“The survey identified widespread and significant concern amongst public officers about reporting impropriety, both internally and to an outside agency,” Lander said of the results.