ICAC finds corrupt conduct against RailCorp employee and contractors
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has found that RailCorp Maintenance Engineer Said Marcos and contractors Tony Mourched and Sami Mikhail engaged in corrupt conduct in relation to air conditioning maintenance contracts that enabled Mr Marcos to improperly obtain more than $710,000 over a six-year period.
The ICAC's Report on an investigation into corrupt conduct associated with RailCorp air-conditioning contracts, tabled in Parliament today, recommended that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should be obtained about the prosecution of the three individuals, and Mr Marcos's son Benjamin Marcos, for various criminal offences.
The ICAC Commissioner, the Hon Jerrold Cripps QC, said the report also recommends that RailCorp consider disciplinary action, including dismissal, against Mr Said Marcos, who has been on suspension since 16 December 2006.
"The ICAC report noted that RailCorp has had recurring problems in managing certain high risk areas and made a total of 27 corruption prevention recommendations to assist the organisation to better manage these areas," Commissioner Cripps said.
"These include establishing a formal accountability framework for managing contracts, a risk management strategy that specifically relates to secondary employment, and developing a comprehensive audit and review program for supplier payments."
RailCorp notified the ICAC in February 2005 that it was investigating allegations that Mr Marcos was improperly favouring a number of businesses carrying out RailCorp maintenance work.
The Commission also received an anonymous complaint in August that year that businesses associated with Mr Marcos had received substantial payments from, and were directly or indirectly involved with, businesses carrying out RailCorp maintenance work.
The ICAC found that two businesses associated with Mr Marcos (Isis and B&S) received substantial sub-contracting work from Messrs Mourched and Mikhail under their RailCorp contracts, without the knowledge of RailCorp.
The ICAC's report notes that "by agreeing to subcontract work to Isis, Mr Mourched ensured that Mr Marcos would continue to approve NBR (Mr Mourched's business) to undertake additional work, thereby ensuring they both shared in a highly lucrative arrangement at RailCorp's expense".
Between August 1999 and November 2005, NBR received more than $4 million for work carried out under the contracts; over that period B&S and Isis received nearly $656,000 from NBR as sub-contractors.
The Commission found that Mr Marcos also entered into a profit-sharing agreement with Mr Mikhail, which was "a pre-condition for his (Mr Mikhail's) business to be given RailCorp work by Mr Marcos".
Altogether, Mr Marcos was paid more than $56,000 for work carried out by Mr Mikhail's businesses, Sami Industrial and Domestic Cleaners and Atsan Pty Ltd, between February 2000 and August 2005, which amounted to half the profits from the work.
The ICAC's recommendation that the DPP's advice should be sought in relation to the prosecution of Mr Benjamin Marcos related to an alleged attempt to mislead the Commission by providing false invoices about work subcontracted to Isis by NBR.
In relation to Messrs Said Marcos, Mikhail and Mourched, the ICAC report recommended that the DPP's advice should be sought with respect to their prosecution for alleged breaches of s.249B of the Crimes Act 1900 (corrupt commissions or rewards) and, in respect of Mr Said Marcos, an alleged attempt to mislead the Commission by providing false invoices.
The ICAC's investigation included executing three search warrants and taking statements and records of interview from 15 witnesses. Five compulsory (private) examinations were held, plus a public inquiry in December 2006, over which Commissioner Cripps presided.