Registered training organisations - corruption in the provision and certification of security industry training (Operation Columba)

Year: 2009 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated allegations that persons from various registered training organisations, and others, may have engaged in corrupt conduct, and/or conduct liable to allow, encourage or cause the occurrence of corrupt conduct, in relation to the delivery of training, the conduct of assessments and the issue of certificates connected with approved security industry training courses.

In its report on this investigation, made public on 9 December 2009, the ICAC made corrupt conduct findings against 10 persons and recommended that consideration be given to the prosecution of eight persons for specified criminal offences and to the revocation of security licences held by two persons. A total of 16 corruption prevention recommendations are made to address fundamental regulatory problems in the security industry.

Findings of corrupt conduct

The ICAC has made findings of corrupt conduct against Ahmed Moosani, Ali Merchant, Hamdi Alqudsi, Dru Hyland, Shane Camilleri, Vivek Raghaven, Craig Wheeler, Tibi Brandusoiu, Nick Bosynak and Jose Sanz.

 

Recommendations for prosecutions

The Commission must seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether any prosecution should be commenced. The DPP determines whether any criminal charges can be laid, and conducts all prosecutions. The Commission provides information on this website in relation to the status of prosecution recommendations and outcomes as advised by the DPP. The progress of matters is generally within the hands of the DPP. Accordingly, the Commission does not directly notify persons affected of advice received from the DPP or the progress of their matters generally.

The ICAC is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Ahmed Moosani, Ali Merchant, Hamdi Alqudsi, Dru Hyland, Shane Camilleri, Craig Wheeler, Tibi Brandusoiu and Vivek Raghavan for various criminal offences.

Ahmed Moosani 
On 6 July 2012 at the Downing Centre Local Court, Mr Moosani having pleaded guilty was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and a 9-month suspended prison sentence in relation to 2 counts of make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act 1900 and 2 counts of make false instrument contrary to section 300 of the Crimes Act.

Tiberiu Brandusoiu  
On 2 April 2013, Mr Brandusoiu having pleaded guilty was sentenced to a 3-year good behaviour bond on relation to 1 count of accessory before the fact to make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act. On 16 December 2013, Mr Brandusoiu appealed against his conviction at the Sydney District Court. His appeal was upheld and his conviction was quashed.

Ali Merchant 
On 6 July 2012 at the Downing Centre Local Court, Mr Merchant having pleaded guilty was sentenced to 450 hours of community service and a 9-month suspended prison sentence in relation to 10 counts of make false instrument contrary to section 300 of the Crimes Act and 3 counts of accessory before the fact to make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act.

Shane Camilleri 
Prosecuted for 1 count of make false statement contrary to section 178BB Crimes Act and pleaded guilty to this offence. On 28 February 2012, Mr Camilleri was placed on an 18-month good behaviour bond.

Hamdi Alqudsi 
Prosecuted for 2 counts of make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act and 3 counts of accessory before the fact to make false statement contrary to sections 178BB and 346 of the Crimes Act and pleaded guilty to these offences. On 7 June 2012, Mr Alqudsi was placed on a 3-year good behaviour bond and fined $1,000. 

Dru Hyland 
On 25 September 2012 at the Downing Centre Local Court, Mr Hyland having pleaded guilty was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and a 9-month suspended prison sentence in relation to 7 counts of make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act, and 1 count of accessory before the fact to make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act. 

Vivek Raghavan
Prosecuted for 1 count of make false statement contrary to section 178BB of the Crimes Act and pleaded guilty to this offence. On 16 August 2012, Mr Raghavan was sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour bond.

Craig Wheeler
DPP advised insufficient admissable evidence to proceed.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

The ICAC has recommended that the Security Industry Registry consider revoking the security licences of Nick Bosynak and José Sanz.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

Recommendation 1
In relation to security training, assessment and certification, the NSW Commissioner of Police should assume ultimate responsibility for all integrity-related functions, including:
 a.  corruption prevention
 b.  corruption risk management
 c.  fraud and corruption investigation and detection.

Recommendation 2
The compliance, inspection and data review processes of the Security Industry Registry ("SIR") should be expanded and improved to give the SIR the capacity to detect fraudulent or inadequate training practices by registered training organisations ("RTOs").

Recommendation 3
The SIR should be given sufficient, dedicated staffing and other resources to implement Recommendations 1 and 2 without reliance on staff from other sections of the NSW Police Force, the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board ("VETAB"), the approved security industry associations ("ASIAs") or any other organisation.

Recommendation 4
In relation to literacy and numeracy testing for security licence applicants:
 a.  it should not be conducted by RTOs providing security training
 b.  the SIR should facilitate the development of a standard literacy and numeracy test
 c.  this test should be administered by an approved government provider selected by the SIR.

Recommendation 5
The SIR should independently test the knowledge of applicants for security licences prior to the issue of the licence. This testing could include:
 a.  random computer-based knowledge testing such as is used by the Roads and Traffic Authority to test driver knowledge, and
 b.  scenario-based interviews conducted by SIR staff.

Recommendation 6
The SIR should take steps to determine the validity of all security qualifications granted during the upgrade process. RTOs currently approved to provide security training should not be involved in this assessment process. Some methods that could be considered in this regard include the measures described in Recommendations 4 and 5 above.

Recommendation 7
The SIR should comprehensively review all RTOs currently approved to provide security training to determine:
 a.  their level of competence and compliance during the licence upgrade process
 b.  whether their security trainers meet the competency levels required by the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and the Certificate IV in Security and Risk Management
 c.  whether the RTO merits continued approval to conduct security training.

Recommendation 8
The SIR should:
 a.  conduct a comprehensive corruption risk assessment of the corruption risks present in security training and licensing. This risk assessment should include but not be limited to:
  i.  analysis of the risks associated with outsourcing security training to private training providers
  ii.  analysis of the risks associated with any new procedures the SIR may introduce to test security licence applicants or review RTOs
 b.  develop a corruption risk management plan describing the corruption risks identified and the strategies the SIR will adopt to manage each of these risks.

Recommendation 9
In relation to VETAB's audit and compliance practices:
 a.  VETAB should improve its audit and monitoring of RTOs to ensure early detection of training, assessment or recognition of prior learning ("RPL") not conducted in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework ("AQTF") standards
 b.  where VETAB identifies training, assessment or RPL not conducted in accordance with the AQTF standards, it should take prompt and effective action to gain compliance within a specified timeframe
 c.  where compliance does not occur within the specified timeframe without good reason, VETAB should take immediate disciplinary action against the RTO.

Recommendation 10
In future, VETAB should provide the SIR with:
 a.  a copy of all VETAB audit reports concerning RTOs that provide security training
 b.  any information received from complaints or any other source that relates to the integrity of security training.

Recommendation 11
The NSW Police Force and the Department of Education and Training should make all managers and senior officers aware of:
 a.  the definition of corrupt conduct under the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988
 b.  the jurisdiction of the Commission, and
 c.  the requirement to report suspected corrupt conduct under section 11 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

Recommendation 12
The NSW Police Force and the Department of Education and Training should have internal reporting mechanisms in place that ensure that principal officers are made aware of and report matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission under section 11 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 at the earliest possible time.

Recommendation 13
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing ("OLGR") should review the validity of all Responsible Service of Alcohol ("RSA") and Responsible Conduct of Gaming ("RCG") certificates and statements of attainment issued through Roger Training Academy since 2006.

Recommendation 14
The OLGR should reduce the likelihood of fraud in the issue of RSA and RCG certificates by:

a.  conducting a comprehensive corruption risk assessment of the corruption risks present in RSA and RCG training and licensing. This risk assessment should include but not be limited to:

i. analysis of the risks associated with training by private training providers

ii. analysis of the risks associated with any new procedures the OLGR may introduce to review RTOs

b.  develop a corruption risk management plan describing the corruption risks identified and the strategies the OLGR will adopt to manage each of these risks.

Recommendation 15
WorkCover NSW and VETAB should liaise in order to advise the Commission of the following:

a. which agency will take responsibility for reviewing the validity of all First Aid certificates issued through Roger Training Academy since 2006

b. how this review will be conducted

c. that the responsible agency will undertake to notify the SIR Registrar of any First Aid certificates found to be invalid.

Recommendation 16
WorkCover NSW should reduce the likelihood of fraud in the issue of First Aid certificates by:

a. conducting a comprehensive corruption risk assessment of the corruption risks present in First Aid training. This risk assessment should include but not be limited to:

i. analysis of the risks associated with training by private training providers

ii. analysis of the risks associated with any new procedures WorkCover may introduce to review RTOs

b.  develop a corruption risk management plan describing the corruption risks identified and the strategies WorkCover will adopt to manage each of these risks.

Implementation Plan

The implementation plans posted below have been provided by the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB), the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR), WorkCover NSW and the NSW Police Force in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Their appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the plans by the Commission. 

Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB) - Implementation Plan

Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) - Implementation Plan

WorkCover NSW - Implementation Plan

NSW Police Force - Implementation Plan


12 month progress reports

The progress reports posted below have been provided by the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB), the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR), WorkCover NSW and NSW Police in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Their appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the plans by the Commission. 

Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB) - 12 month progress report

Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) - 12 month progress report

WorkCover NSW - 12 month progress report

NSW Police Force - 12 month progress report

 

24 month final progress report

The progress report posted below has been provided by the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB) in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. It's appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the plan by the Commission. The Department also advised that:

In line with a Council of Australian Govemments' commitment to introduce a national vocational education and training regulator, on 1 July 2011 the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) became Australia's national regulator for vocational education and training. New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have referred their vocational education and training regulatory functions to ASQA.

The national regulator will operate without referrals from Victoria and Western Australia, but will manage regulation of training organisations based in these states that operate in more than one state or offer training to international students.

As of 30 June 2011, the NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board ceased to operate and no longer has any functions or responsibilities. ASQA is now responsible for regulation of more than 2000 registered training organisations operating in New South Wales.

During the consultation period to determine the legislative functions and powers for the new Authority, New South Wales was able to have included in the governing legislation tougher and more far reaching powers such as ASQA's right to carry out inspections and the power to seize assets.

Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB) - 24 month progress report

The progress reports posted below have been provided by Education and Communities, Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, WorkCover Authority and NSW Police in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Their appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the reports by the Commission.

Education and Communities - Final progress report

Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing - Final progress report

WorkCover NSW - Final progress report

NSW Police - Second progress report

NSW Police - Final progress report


Media Releases Witness

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Download the Witness List (PDF)

Transcripts

View all transcripts associated with this investigation. The Commission makes every effort to post the daily transcripts of its public inquiries on its website by 8:00 pm each day when possible. If the Commission sits later than 4:00 pm, the daily transcripts, particularly the afternoon session, may not be available until the next working day.

 

Filename File Size KB Date pp. Time
26-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00191-00263 at 10.00AM to 1.04PM.pdf 237 26/08/09 00191-00263 10.00AM to 1.04PM
24-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00001-00054 at 10.00AM to 1.01PM.pdf 189 24/08/09 00001-00054 10.00AM to 1.01PM
24-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00055-00098 at 2.10PM to 3.53PM.pdf 158 24/08/09 00055-00098 2.10PM to 3.53PM
25-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00099-00157 at 10.00AM to 1.01PM.pdf 190 25/08/09 00099-00157 10.00AM to 1.01PM
25-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp.00158-00190 at 2.00PM to 3.10PM.pdf 109 25/08/09 00158-00190 2.00PM to 3.10PM
26-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00264-00293 at 2.00PM to 3.13PM.pdf 101 26/08/09 00264-00293 2.00PM to 3.13PM
27-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00294-00357 at 10.00AM to 1.13PM.pdf 194 27/08/09 00294-00357 10.00AM to 1.13PM
27-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00358-00381 at 2.20PM to 3.06PM.pdf 84 27/08/09 00358-00381 2.20PM to 3.06PM
28-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00382-00415 at 10.20AM to 11.15AM.pdf 101 28/08/09 00382-00415 10.20AM to 11.15AM
31-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00416-00469 at 10.10AM to 1.00PM.pdf 177 31/08/09 00416-00469 10.10AM to 1.00PM
31-08-2009 Columba Inquiry pp.00470-00514 at 2.05PM to 4.01PM.pdf 160 31/08/09 00470-00514 2.05PM to 4.01PM
01-09-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00515-00588 at 10.10AM to 1.16PM.pdf 246 01/09/09 00515-00588 10.10AM to 1.16PM
01-09-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00589-00611 at 2.10PM to 3.06PM.pdf 77 01/09/09 00589-00611 2.10PM to 3.06PM
02-09-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00612-00667 at 10.04Pm to 12.31PM.pdf 199 02/09/09 00612-00667 10.04Pm to 12.31PM
11-09-2009 Columba Inquiry pp. 00668-00684 at 9.10AM to 9.50AM.pdf 54 11/09/09 00668-00684 9.10AM to 9.50AM
Exhibits Public notices

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