University of Technology, Sydney – allegations concerning former employee’s dealings with contractors (Operation Stark)

Year: 2013 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated allegations that former University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) employee, Nabil Faysal, engaged in corrupt conduct in his dealings with UTS contractors including by soliciting and accepting money or other benefits from contractors in return for allocating them work, or using his position to influence the allocation of UTS work to them.

In its report on the investigation, made public on 27 March 2013, the Commission makes corrupt conduct findings against Mr Faysal and Wayne Hood. The Commission is of the opinion that the advice of the director of public prosecution should be sought with respect to the prosecution of Mr Faysal for offences of soliciting and receiving corrupt benefits. The Commission has made three corruption prevention recommendations to UTS to help minimise and prevent the recurrence of such behaviour.


Findings of corrupt conduct

The ICAC found that Nabil Faysal engaged in corrupt conduct by:

  • soliciting and receiving money from Michael Cady on five occasions between around 6 April 2006 and 17 October 2007
  • soliciting and receiving money from Keith Boobyer on five occasions between around 19 April 2006 and 15 November 2007
  • soliciting and receiving money from Wayne Hood on nine occasions between around 19 April 2006 and 2 May 2008
  • soliciting and receiving money from Ramsey Franjieh on four occasions between around 1 December 2006 and 11 October 2007
  • soliciting and receiving paid travel for himself and/or his family from Mr Franjieh on four occasions between around June 2006 and August 2011
  • accepting and failing to disclose to UTS travel paid for by Targetti for himself and his wife on six occasions between April 2006 and April 2011 in breach of UTS policies
  • failing to disclose to UTS that he was undertaking work for Webster Wagner in breach of UTS policies
  • disclosing confidential UTS information to assist two UTS contractors in breach of UTS policies.

The Commission also found that Wayne Hood engaged in corrupt conduct by giving $41,305 to Mr Faysal.

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 the advice of the DPP should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Nabil Faysal for offences of soliciting and receiving corrupt benefits pursuant to section 249B of the Crimes Act 1900.

On 24 September 2014, the DPP advised that there was sufficient evidence to charge Mr Faysal with 9 counts of agent corruptly receiving benefit under section 249(1)(a) of the Crimes Act and 11 counts of make false statement to obtain money under section 178BB of the Crimes Act.

On 10 December 2014, upon his return to Australia from Qatar, Mr Faysal was charged with 9 counts of agent corruptly receiving benefit under section 249(1)(a) of the Crimes Act and 10 counts of make false statement to obtain money under section 178BB of the Crimes Act. On 24 March 2015, Mr Faysal's case was mentioned before the Downing Centre Local Court. No pleas were entered. The case was adjourned until 12 May 2015 in order for Mr Faysal to seek further legal advice.

On 12 May 2015, Mr Faysal's case was mentioned before the Downing Centre Local Court. The case was adjourned until 9 June 2015 in order to allow Mr Faysal's legal representative further time to prepare. On 9 June 2015, Mr Faysal's trial was set down to commence in the Downing Centre Local Court on 16 November 2015. On that date, the trial was adjourned until 14 March 2016, for the conclusion of the defence case. On 15 March 2016, the hearing was further adjourned to 12 and 13 May 2016 for completion of re-examination and submissions.

On 12 May 2016, all evidence and submissions were concluded.

On 16 June 2016, Mr Faysal was found guilty of all charges. On 14 September 2016, Mr Faysal was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 6 months. He was also ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty to the state of NSW. He immediately lodged an appeal and bail was granted. The matter was listed for an all grounds appeal in the Sydney District Court for three days from 31 July 2017 to 2 August 2017.

On 31 July 2017, Mr Faysal decided to withdraw his conviction appeal and pursue only his severity appeal, for which he requested a pre-sentence report. The matter was listed for severity appeal in the Sydney District Court on 31 October 2017. The severity appeal was dismissed, and Mr Faysal was taken into custody to commence serving his 6 month non-parole period.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

Mr Faysal was dismissed by UTS in April 2012 and has commenced proceedings against his dismissal. The ICAC is also of the opinion that consideration should be given by UTS to taking disciplinary action against Mr Faysal with a view to his dismissal in the event that he succeeds in being reinstated to the service of UTS.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

The Commission has made three corruption prevention recommendations to the University of Technology, Sydney, as follows:

Recommendation 1

That UTS employs strategies, such as return to work management plans, to address any residual risks associated with staff returning to duties and to ensure an appropriate level of support for line managers with regard to overseeing a plan and/or other strategies.

Recommendation 2

That UTS continues its program to identify and implement procurement best practice for supplier and contractor panels and other supplier agreements.

Recommendation 3

That UTS develops a strategy to engage and communicate with suppliers and contractors regarding UTS procurement and probity requirements.

  

Implementation Plans

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

UTS - Implementation plan (PDF)

Progress report

The progress report posted below have been provided by the University of Technology 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.

UTS - 12 month progress report (PDF)


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

All Exhibits

Public notices