Public inquiry into corruption allegations concerning Department of Justice courthouse refurbishment contracts

Friday 12 June 2015

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry starting on 22 June 2015 as part of an investigation it is conducting into corruption allegations concerning the abuse of procurement processes by a Department of Justice Asset Management Branch senior officer in awarding contracts to refurbish NSW courthouses in 2013 (Operation Yancey).

The public inquiry will examine allegations that Anthony Andjic, deputy director capital works in the Assets Management Branch, corruptly engaged Saff Projects Pty Ltd and the Triton Group Pty Ltd, companies owned by Shadi Chacra, as project managers and builders for upgrades to courthouses in NSW.

It is alleged that Mr Andjic often ensured that Mr Chacra's companies were paid for works which were never actually completed or commenced, resulting in Mr Chacra receiving more than $1.3 million from the Department of Justice.

Further allegations include that Mr Andjic co-opted a junior officer, Fatima Hammoud, to act contrary to the interests of the Department of Justice in managing court upgrade projects that Mr Andjic is alleged to have corruptly awarded to Saff and Triton. Mr Andjic and Ms Hammoud, whose sister is married to Mr Chacra, are alleged to have received benefits in return for favouring those companies.

Once they became aware of a Department of Justice investigation into their conduct, it is alleged that Mr Andjic and Ms Hammoud deleted or destroyed pertinent departmental records pertaining to the engagement of Triton and Saff.

It is also alleged that Mr Andjic used his position as convenor during the recruitment for a project officer position to attempt to award the job to Ms Hammoud, although she did not hold the necessary qualifications and experience, and without declaring that he knew Ms Hammoud personally. Mr Andjic and Ms Hammoud are now married.

The public inquiry will start at 10:00 am and will be held in the Commission's hearing room on Level 7, 255 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

The ICAC Commissioner, the Hon Megan Latham, will preside at the public inquiry, and Counsel Assisting the Commission will be Mr Grant Brady. The inquiry is set down for five-to-seven days.

Media contact: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801