University of Sydney - allegations of corrupt conduct involving University Sydney employee (Operation Kanda)

Year: 2010 Status: Completed

The ICAC conducted an investigation into the conduct of Deborah Yandell, Site Manager, Campus Infrastructure Services, University of Sydney concerning the alleged failure to disclose conflicts of interest arising out of allocation of cleaning contracts to Razorback Services Pty Ltd, a company jointly owned by her and her husband, Dino Radovac.

The investigation report, made public on 8 September 2010, details ICAC findings made against Ms Yandell. 

The Commission is not of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should be sought with respect to prosecuting Ms Yandell or Mr Radovac for any criminal offences. 

The Commission made five corruption prevention recommendations to the University of Sydney to help minimise or prevent similar conduct occurring in the future in procurement and contracting.

Findings of corrupt conduct

The Commission found that Ms Yandell, a former Cleaning Manager and Site Manager of the University's Campus Infrastructure Services (CIS) engaged in corrupt conduct and manipulated procurement processes in order to favour Razorback. Ms Yandell approved 267 payments totalling $355,843, and concealed from the University her relationship with Mr Radovac and the financial benefits she derived from her personal interest in engaging Razorback to undertake cleaning of various University sites.

The Commission found, of the money paid to Razorback, nearly $154,000 was transferred to accounts held jointly by Ms Yandell and Mr Radovac.  Ms Yandell knowingly breached the University's code of conduct and accepted that she received significant financial benefits as a result of Razorback getting the University cleaning contracts.

 

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 not of the opinion that the advice of the DPP should be sought with respect to prosecuting Ms Yandell for any criminal offence as an employee of an educational institution that receives public money is not, at common law, a public official for purposes of the common law offence of misconduct in public office. The Commission found no evidence suggesting that Mr Radovac engaged in any conduct that could constitute or involve a criminal offence.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

Ms Yandell resigned in 2009 during the ICAC investigation. Therefore the Commission makes no recommendations in relation to any disciplinary action against Ms Yandell.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

The ICAC has made the following five corruption prevention recommendations to the University of Sydney to minimise or prevent similar conduct occurring in the future:

Recommendation 1

That staff from the University of Sydney's Campus Infrastructure Services (CIS) involved in the procurement of goods and services receive training in relation to the Purchasing Policy and procurement generally.

Recommendation 2

That all CIS staff with responsibility for certifying invoices be provided with information as to the nature and importance of their role in verifying that the work charged for has been completed satisfactorily.

Recommendation 3

That CIS requires all requests for non-routine or additional cleaning services to be made through the E-Service Desk.

Recommendation 4

That the Procurement Services Division of the University of Sydney develops clear processes and procedures for the procurement of goods, and for the evaluation of quotations under $200,000.

Recommendation 5

That CIS establishes processes to review any "emergency" service arrangements after a period of three months. Furthermore, if the service is required on an ongoing basis, alternative quotations should be obtained in accordance with the Purchasing Policy, and a written contract should be entered into with the service provider engaged.

Implementation Plan

The implementation plan posted below has been provided by the University of Sydney 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 plan by the Commission.

University of Sydney - Implementation plan

Final report

The report posted below has been provided by the University of Sydney 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.

University of Sydney - Final report

Media Releases Witness

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. 

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