Strathfield Municipal Council - offer of a corrupt payment to a Council officer (Operation Centurion)

Year: 2010 Status: Completed

The ICAC conducted an investigation into whether David Pyo engaged in corrupt conduct by giving a benefit to a Strathfield Council employee as an inducement for facilitating negotiations for a licence agreement for a Council property.

In its investigation report, made public on 13 May 2010, the Commission found that Mr Pyo had engaged in corrupt conduct and stated its opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions be sought with respect to the prosecution of Mr Pyo for an offence of offering a corrupt benefit. The Commission also made six corruption prevention recommendations.

Findings of corrupt conduct

The Commission has found that David Pyo engaged in corrupt conduct.

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 Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Davd Pyo for an offence of offering a corrupt benefit contrary to section 249B of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

David Pyo pleaded not guilty to one count of corruptly offer an inducement pursuant to section 249B(2) of the Crimes Act. On 23 February 2012, the charge was dismissed by the Downing Centre Local Court.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

There were no recommendations for disciplinary actions.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

RECOMMENDATION 1
That Strathfield Municipal Council review its Purchasing and Tendering Operational Guidelines to provide clear guidance on EOI processes that do not form part of a formal tender. In particular, guidance should be provided on the circumstances surrounding the acceptance of late submissions, including appropriate approval requirements.

RECOMMENDATION 2
That Strathfield Municipal Council amend its Purchasing and Tendering Operational Guidelines to specify the types of EOI that must be advertised in a Sydney metropolitan daily newspaper as well as local press and its website.

RECOMMENDATION 3

That Strathfield Municipal Council undertake the following activities in relation to its record-keeping requirements for EOI processes:

• a complete review of its record-keeping practices to ensure adequate procedures are in place to capture and maintain all relevant documents from every stage of the process. This should include all Council-generated correspondence, Council reports and minutes, evaluation panel reports and decisions, and information received from proponents;
• the clear documentation of all record-keeping requirements in Council's Purchasing and Tendering Operational Guidelines;
• the training of all Council staff involved in EOI processes in Council's record-keeping requirements and their obligations;
• the conduct of a compliance audit of its record management systems against the requirements of the State Records Act 1998.

RECOMMENDATION 4
That Strathfield Municipal Council ensure procedures are in place to determine the market rental value and amount of work required to be undertaken by potential licensees prior to the selection of preferred proponents during EOI or formal tender processes.

RECOMMENDATION 5
That the Local Government Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet issue a circular to all local councils in NSW to communicate anti-corruption messages to their communities in relevant languages for their areas.

RECOMMENDATION 6
That Strathfield Municipal Council commence a campaign to educate its community in relevant languages that corrupt acts such as bribery or other inducements are not acceptable and will be reported to the Commission.

 

Implementation Plans

The implementation plans posted below have been provided by the Local Government Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Strathfield Municipal Council 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. 

Local Government Division, Department of Premier and Cabinet - Implementation Plan

Strathfield Council - Implementation Plan

Progress report

The progress report posted below has been provided by Strathfield Municipal Council in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Its appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the report by the Commission.

Strathfield Municipal Council - 12 month progress report

Final progress report

The final progress report posted below has been provided by Strathfield Municipal Council in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Its appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the report by the Commission.

Strathfield Municipal Council - 24 month 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.

 

Exhibits Public notices