Mine Subsidence Board – allegations concerning former district manager (Operation Tunic)

Year: 2016 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated allegations that former Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) Picton office district manager Darren Bullock received, or may have received, corrupt payments or other benefits as an inducement or reward for showing favourable treatment to building contractor Kevin Inskip of Plantac Pty Ltd and to William Kendall of Willbuilt Homes Pty Ltd. The Commission also investigated allegations that Mr Bullock revealed confidential MSB tender information to Plantac Pty Ltd, and breached MSB financial delegations, policies and/or procedures relating to the awarding of contracts and the making of payments to that company.

In its report on the investigation, made public on 23 March 2016, the Commission makes findings of serious corrupt conduct against Mr Bullock, Mr Inskip, David Salmon of A&DJ Services Pty Ltd and Barbara Inskip. The Commission does not make any findings of serious corrupt conduct in respect of Mr Kendall.

The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions with respect to the prosecution of Mr Bullock for various offences.

The ICAC also makes seven corruption prevention recommendations to the MSB to help prevent the recurrence of the conduct exposed in this investigation in the future.

Findings of corrupt conduct

The Commission found that Darren Bullock engaged in serious corrupt conduct by:

  • between 2008 and 2014, soliciting and receiving payments totalling $314,115.50 from Kevin Inskip as an inducement or reward for Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the Mine Subsidence Board’s (MSB) Picton office to favour, or not to show disfavour to, Mr Inskip’s business in relation to its work for the MSB
     

  • between 2006 and 2013, using his position to direct David Salmon to produce and submit 11 backdated A & DJ Building Services “cover quotes” (false quotations) to the MSB and then applying false “Received” date stamps to specific A & DJ Building Services cover quotes, and using the cover quotes for the purpose of exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to show favour in the provision of work to Plantac by falsely representing that quotations competitive with the Plantac quotations had been sought and obtained in relation to work on those properties
     

  • between 2007 and 2015, arranging with Mr Salmon for Mr Salmon to include additional amounts totalling $210,200 in A & DJ Building Services invoices, quotations and tenders for repairs to properties submitted to the MSB with the intention that these additional amounts would be shared equally between Mr Salmon and himself. Mr Bullock received $83,600 from Mr Salmon as a result of this arrangement as an inducement or reward for Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to favour, or not to show disfavour to, Mr Salmon’s business in relation to its work for the MSB
     

  • between 2007 and 2013, using his position at the MSB to direct Mr Inskip to produce and submit seven Plantac cover quotes to the MSB in relation to seven properties, for the purpose of exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to show favour in the provision of work to A & DJ Building Services by falsely representing that quotations competitive with the A & DJ Building Services quotations had been sought and obtained in relation to those properties.

The Commission found that Kevin Inskip engaged in serious corrupt conduct by:

  • between 2008 and 2014, making payments totalling $314,115.50 to Mr Bullock as an inducement or reward for Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to favour, or not to show disfavour to, Mr Inskip’s business in relation to its work for the MSB

  • between 2007 and 2013, at Mr Bullock’s direction, producing and submitting seven Plantac cover quotes to the MSB to facilitate Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to show favour in the provision of work to A & DJ Building Services by being able to falsely represent that quotations competitive with the A & DJ Building Services quotations had been sought and obtained in relation to work on those properties.

The Commission found that Barbara Inskip engaged in serious corrupt conduct by facilitating the making of payments totalling $314,115.50 to Mr Bullock between 2008 and 2014 as an inducement or reward for Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office to favour, or not to show disfavour to, Mr Inskip’s business in relation to work for the MSB.

The Commission found that David Salmon engaged in serious corrupt conduct by:

  • between 2006 and 2013, at Mr Bullock’s direction, producing and submitting 11 backdated A & DJ Building Services cover quotes to the MSB to facilitate Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to show favour in the provision of work to Plantac by being able to falsely represent that quotations competitive with the Plantac quotations had been sought and obtained in relation to work on the relevant properties
     

  • between 2007 and 2015, at Mr Bullock’s direction, including additional amounts totalling $210,200 in A & DJ Building Services invoices, quotations and tenders for repairs to MSB properties submitted to the MSB with the intention that these additional amounts would be shared equally between Mr Salmon and himself. Mr Salmon paid $83,600 to Mr Bullock as a result of this arrangement as an inducement or reward for Mr Bullock exercising his public official functions as district manager of the MSB’s Picton office, to favour, or not to show disfavour to, Mr Salmon’s business in relation to its work for the MSB.

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 Darren Bullock for the criminal offences of:

  • soliciting and receiving corrupt commissions or rewards pursuant to section 249B(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900 in relation to the payments he received from Mr Inskip
     

  • misconduct in public office for disclosing confidential tender information to Mr Inskip with respect to a tender for repair works at 336 Moreton Park Road, Douglas Park
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 9 April 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the Independent Commission Against  Corruption Act 1988, when Mr Bullock denied receiving cash payments from Mr Inskip funded from an arrangement that involved directing Mr Inskip to inflate the cost of variations to the Mine Subsidence Board (MSB), in return for showing preferential treatment to Mr Inskip by awarding Plantac contracts for repair works
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 9 April 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied that he accessed the tender box, opened the envelopes containing tenders by Asset Trade Services and M Bruton Building Co and then told Mr Inskip the price quoted by Asset Trade Services, the lower of the two tenders, in relation to the tender for repair works at 336 Moreton Park Road, Douglas Park
     

  • procuring the giving of false testimony by Mr Inskip at a compulsory examination before the Commission on 3 February 2015, contrary to section 89(a) of the ICAC Act, when, during a visit to the Inskips’ home in December 2014, he coached Mr Inskip to tell the Commission that payments made to Mr Bullock were loans for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment
     

  • making false instruments pursuant to section 300(1) of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred before 22 February 2010) and making false documents pursuant to section 253 of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred from 22 February 2010) for procuring the A & DJ Building Services cover quotes from David Salmon
     

  • making false instruments pursuant to section 300(1) of the Crimes Act for manipulating the “Received” date stamp and applying false date stamp imprints to certain A & DJ Building Services cover quotes
     

  • using false instruments pursuant to section 300(2) of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred before 22 February 2010) and using false documents pursuant to section 254 of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred from 22 February 2010) for placing the A & DJ Building Services cover quotes on the MSB files
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 27 and 28 May 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied soliciting or receiving secret commissions from Mr Salmon
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 27 and 28 May 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied procuring A & DJ Building Services cover quotes from Mr Salmon in respect of specific properties
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 27 May 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied deliberately manipulating “Received” date stamps and deliberately applying false date stamp imprints to A & DJ Building Services cover quotes in respect of specific properties
     

  • making false instruments pursuant to section 300(1) of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred before 22 February 2010) and making false documents pursuant to section 253 of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred after 22 February 2010) for procuring Plantac cover quotes from Mr Inskip
     

  • using false instruments pursuant to section 300(2) of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred before 22 February 2010) and section 254 of the Crimes Act (for offences that occurred from 22 February 2010) for placing the Plantac cover quotes on the MSB files
     

  • soliciting and receiving corrupt commissions or rewards pursuant to section 249B(1)(a) of the Crimes Act in relation to payments he received from Mr Salmon
     

  • an offence under section 351A of the Crimes Act of recruiting Mr Salmon to carry out a criminal activity, being the deletion of text messages from his mobile telephone, which detailed their arrangement to include secret commissions on specific jobs and related to the subject matter of the Commission’s investigation, contrary to section 88(2)(a) of the ICAC Act
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 29 May 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied procuring cover quotes from Mr Inskip in respect of specific properties
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the Commission’s public inquiry on 28 May 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied asking Mr Salmon to delete text messages from his mobile telephone for the purpose of destroying evidence capable of incriminating him relation to an arrangement that involved receiving secret commissions
     

  • giving false or misleading evidence at the public inquiry on 9 April 2015, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, when he denied that he invited either Mr Inskip or Mr Salmon to submit the “M Burton Co” tender as a dummy quotation when either one of them submitted their own tenders.

Updates

A brief of evidence was provided to the DPP on 9 August 2016. The Commission is awaiting the DPP's decision on whether proceedings will be taken.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

Darren Bullock resigned from the Mine Subsidence Board in December 2014. It is therefore not necessary to consider any recommendation in relation to disciplinary or dismissal action.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

The Commission has made seven corruption prevention recommendations as follows:

Recommendation 1

That the Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) strengthens its organisational capability to fulfil its obligations, including:

  • securing the optimum staffing levels and staff with appropriate skills

  • formalising service-level agreements

  • generating meaningful data for the purposes of analysis and reporting to the MSB

  • improving internal and external auditing arrangements

  • tightening the accounts payable system.

Recommendation 2

That the MSB builds controls into the claims and tendering processes to restrict a single user having end-to-end control and exceeding expenditure delegations.

Recommendation 3

That the MSB segregates the process and staff involved in estimating the costs of works, the allocation of contractors to undertake the works and the process of evaluating the delivery of works.

Recommendation 4

That the MSB agrees a threshold of delegated approvals and/or price for the whole-of-job remedial repairs, so that when the original scope and variations increase beyond a percentage of the agreed delegation or price, the matter is escalated for management review and approval.

Recommendation 5

That the MSB includes benchmarking as a method of better practice to verify the estimated costs of remedial work.

Recommendation 6

That the MSB routinely assesses the risk of contractor favouritism and takes steps to minimise those risks.

Recommendation 7

That the MSB takes steps to ensure increased transparency in undertaking remedial works, including the periodic assessment of the performance of contractors and value for money of work performed. Such matters are to be taken into account when determining the selection of future contractors.

Response to ICAC recommendations

The action plan and report posted below have been provided by the Mine Subsidence Board in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Their publication here is to show the status of the response. It does not constitute approval or endorsement by the Commission.

Plan of action

Final report

Media Releases

ICAC finds former Mine Subsidence Board manager corrupt

23 Mar 2016

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has found that former Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) Picton office district manager Darren Bullock engaged in serious corrupt conduct that resulted in him receiving close to $400,000 in payments from arrangements he had made with MSB contractors.

MEDIA ALERT: Public inquiry into allegations concerning former Mine Subsidence Board manager resumes Monday

22 May 2015

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Tunic public inquiry into allegations concerning former Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) Picton office district manager, Darren Bullock, will recommence next Monday 25 May 2015 at 10:00 am.

MEDIA ALERT: Former Mine Subsidence Board manager to give evidence when ICAC public inquiry resumes Tuesday

2 Apr 2015

The former Mine Subsidence Board Picton office district manager at the centre of corruption allegations under investigation by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will give evidence when the Commission's Operation Tunic public inquiry continues next Tuesday.

MEDIA ALERT: ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning former Mine Subsidence Board manager starts Monday

27 Mar 2015

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Tunic public inquiry into allegations concerning former Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) Picton office district manager, Darren Bullock, will start next Monday (30 March 2015) at 10:00 am.

ICAC public inquiry into former Mine Subsidence Board district manager

19 Mar 2015

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing on Monday 30 March 2015 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations concerning former Mine Subsidence Board (MSB) Picton office district manager, Darren Bullock (Operation Tunic).

Witness 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
30-03-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00001-00056_from_10.10am_to_1.03pm.pdf 194 30/03/15 00001-00056 10.10am_to_1.03pm
30-03-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00057-00101_from_2.04pm_to_3.55pm.pdf 153 30/03/15 00057-00101 2.04pm_to_3.55pm
10-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._000596-00611_from_10.10am_to_10.57am.pdf 61 10/04/15 000596-00611 10.10am_to_10.57am
31-03-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00102-00157_from_10.08am_to_12.59pm.pdf 197 31/03/15 00102-00157 10.08am_to_12.59pm
31-03-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00158-00206_from_2.11pm_to_4.01pm.pdf 178 31/03/15 00158-00206 2.11pm_to_4.01pm
01-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00207-00257_from_10.43am_to_1.00pm.pdf 172 01/04/15 00207-00257 10.43am_to_1.00pm
01-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00258-00295_from_2.05pm_to_4.01pm.pdf 125 01/04/15 00258-00295 2.05pm_to_4.01pm
02-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00296-00348_from_10.17am_to_1.03pm_-_amended.pdf 182 02/04/15 00296-00348 10.17am_to_1.03pm
07-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00349-00412_from_10.09am_to_1.03pm.pdf 245 07/04/15 00349-00412 10.09am_to_1.03pm
07-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00413-00435_from_2.04pm_to_3.00pm.pdf 84 07/04/15 00413-00435 2.04pm_to_3.00pm
08-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00436-00494_from_9.24am_to_1.02pm.pdf 209 08/04/15 00436-00494 9.24am_to_1.02pm
08-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00495-00524_from_2.06pm_to_3.58pm.pdf 117 08/04/15 00495-00524 2.06pm_to_3.58pm
09-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp.00525-00569_from_10.23am_to_1.00pm.pdf 175 09/04/15 00525-00569 10.23am_to_1.00pm
09-04-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00570-00595_from_2.18pm_to_4.04pm.pdf 97 09/04/15 00570-00595 2.18pm_to_4.04pm
25-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00612-00657_from_10.07am_to_12.56pm.pdf 164 25/05/15 00612-00657 10.07am_to_12.56pm
25-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00658-00681_from_2.07pm_to_4.02pm.pdf 93 25/05/15 00658-00681 2.07pm_to_4.02pm
26-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00682-00711_from_10.16am_to_12.59pm.pdf 120 26/05/15 00682-00711 10.16am_to_12.59pm
26-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00712-00746_from_2.07pm_to_4.15pm.pdf 134 26/05/15 00712-00746 2.07pm_to_4.15pm
27-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00747-00779_from_2.05pm_to_4.00pm.pdf 140 27/05/15 00747-00779 2.05pm_to_4.00pm
28-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00780-00832_from_9.35am_to_1.01pm.pdf 208 28/05/15 00780-00832 9.35am_to_1.01pm
28-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00833-00863_from_2.05pm_to_3.30pm.pdf 120 28/05/15 00833-00863 2.05pm_to_3.30pm
29-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp.00864-00911_from_10.07am_to_12.58pm.pdf 189 29/05/15 00864-00911 10.07am_to_12.58pm
29-05-2015_Operation_Tunic_transcript_pp._00912-00948_from_2.10pm_to_3.45pm.pdf 146 29/05/15 00912-00948 2.10pm_to_3.45pm
Exhibits
Tunic Exhibit List (PDF)
Public notices