Roads and Maritime Services – allegation concerning two former employees (Operation Paragon)

Year: 2023 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated an allegation that, between 2009 and June 2019, then Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) employees Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn partially and/or dishonestly exercised their official functions by awarding in excess of $41 million in RMS contracts, to companies with which they were associated, in exchange for receiving benefits.

In its report on the investigation, made public on 7 March 2023, the Commission makes findings of serious corrupt conduct against Alexandre Dubois, Craig Steyn, Chahid Chahine, Barrak Hadid, Towfik Taha, Talal Rifai, Bilal Najjarin, Abdula Nachabe, Gamele Nachabe, Hassan Alameddine, John Goldberg, Joseph Rahme, Ashley Alexander, Sandra Alexander and Steven Masters.

The ICAC is of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Alexandre Dubois, Craig Steyn, Mr Chahid Chahine, Barrak Hadid, Towfik Taha, Talal Rifai, Bilal Najjarin, Abdula Nachabe, Gamele Nachabe, Hassan Alameddine, John Goldberg, Ashley Alexander, Sandra Alexander and Steven Masters for various offences.

The Commission has made nine recommendations to help Transport for NSW (TfNSW) prevent the conduct identified in the investigation from recurring.

View the Operation Paragon submissions timetable (updated 11 May 2022)

Download the public inquiry COVID-19 protocol (pdf) - updated March 2022

Download the Operation Paragon media guidelines (pdf)

Findings of corrupt conduct

Download the findings of corrupt conduct (pdf)

Recommendations for prosecutions

Download the recommendations for prosecutions (pdf)

Recommendations for disciplinary action

Consequent to the Commission’s investigation, Alexandre Dubois’ employment was suspended on 18 June 2019 and terminated on 17 October 2019. Accordingly, the question of whether consideration should be given to the taking of action against him for a disciplinary offence or the taking of action with a view to his dismissal, does not arise.

Consequent to the Commission’s investigation, Mr Steyn’s employment was terminated on 6 December 2019. Accordingly, the question of whether consideration should be given to the taking of action against him for a disciplinary offence or the taking of action with a view to his dismissal, does not arise.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

The Commission has made nine recommendations to help Transport for NSW (TfNSW) prevent the conduct identified in the investigation from recurring.

Recommendation 1

That TfNSW reviews its processes surrounding construction procurement to ensure that planning of minor works:

  • is based on a meaningful analysis of need
  • properly considers relevant market(s), including the existence of relevant panels of suppliers or prequalification schemes
  • is guided by an appropriately detailed procurement strategy, with controls to avoid the splitting of work
  • is only conducted in accordance with its delegation framework.

Recommendation 2

That TfNSW ensures that it has a robust supplier due diligence framework that includes:

  • routinely obtaining full ASIC records of new suppliers
  • routinely conducting internet searches on new suppliers
  • further due diligence checks being conducted on a risk-basis
  • due diligence checks being conducted by an individual
  • processes to follow up supplier red flags in a meaningful manner.

Recommendation 3

That TfNSW strengthens its controls surrounding subcontractors and makes any necessary enhancements to ensure that it monitors the role of subcontractors throughout the construction procurement process.

Recommendation 4

That TfNSW develops and implements a plan to:

  • assess the procurement competence of relevant TfNSW employees and contractors who perform procurement activities, making allowance for the fact that different activities may require different competencies, and rectify any competency deficits
  • adopt mechanisms to ensure that staff with new procurement responsibilities are competent.

Recommendation 5

That TfNSW reviews its governance of procurement information to ensure that accurate and completed records are kept.

Recommendation 6

That TfNSW reviews supervision of staff involved in procurement processes to ensure that managers are alert to, and aware of, red flags of misconduct, and act upon them appropriately.

Recommendation 7

That TfNSW strengthens its governance of change management processes to ensure that the following are addressed:

  • potential structural weaknesses that might arise
  • the effect of change on supplier markets, including knowledge of potential suppliers
  • adequacy of supervisor and management handovers that may be required when accountabilities change (whether these relate to oversight of an individual or a function).

Recommendation 8

That TfNSW reviews its infrastructure programs to ensure that the new policy/framework requirements for construction procurements (regardless of asset value) include an appropriate level of assurance and compliance mechanisms to address the systemic risks identified in this investigation.

Recommendation 9

That TfNSW strengthens its complaints management and contracts management systems to ensure that:

  • there is clear and easy access for suppliers to report suspected corrupt conduct by TfNSW employees, including their designated TfNSW project and/or contract manager
  • adequate processes exist to manage allegations of corrupt conduct raised by suppliers.

Responses to ICAC recommendations

The action plan posted below has been provided by Transport for NSW in response to the ICAC’s recommendations. Its publication here is to show the status of the responses. It does not constitute approval or endorsement by the Commission.

Action Plan - Transport for NSW

Media Releases

ICAC finds former RTA/RMS employees received over $7 million in corrupt benefits over nine years, aided by lax control and poor oversight

7 Mar 2023

The NSW ICAC has found that two former employees of the then Roads and Traffic Authority and/or Roads and Maritime Services (RTA/RMS) engaged in serious corrupt conduct over nine years that netted them at least $7.47 million in benefits, aided by lax supervision and poor managerial oversight.

Public inquiry into corruption allegation concerning former RMS employees resumes 21 March

11 Mar 2022

The NSW ICAC's Operation Paragon public inquiry concerning former Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) employees Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn will resume Monday 21 March 2022 at 10:00 am.

NSW ICAC MEDIA ALERT: Public inquiry into corruption allegation concerning former RMS employees resumes Monday

2 Dec 2021

The NSW ICAC's Operation Paragon public inquiry into concerning former Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) employees Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn will resume next Monday, 6 December 2021 at 10:00 am.

Public inquiry into corruption allegation concerning former RMS employees resumes

22 Nov 2021

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will resume the public inquiry it is conducting as part of its Operation Paragon investigation concerning former Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) employees Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn on Monday 6 December 2021 at 10am.

MEDIA ALERT: Public inquiry into corruption allegation concerning former RMS employees starts Monday

6 May 2021

The NSW ICAC's Operation Paragon public inquiry into concerning former Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) employees Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn will start next Monday, 10 May 2021 at 10:00 am.

Witness Transcripts

View all public inquiry transcripts associated with this investigation. The Commission will endeavour to make transcripts available as soon as practicable. It cannot advise specific times for when transcripts will be published, due to factors including checking procedures to ensure compliance with any non-publication orders made under the ICAC Act. Users are also reminded that they may follow the proceedings in real time if a public inquiry is being live streamed.

 

Filename Size KB Date pp. Time
29-03-2022 transcript 175 29/03/22 03015-03038 2.00pm to 2.57pm
29-03-2022 transcript 241 29/03/22 02971-03014 10.00am to12.49pm
22-03-2022 transcript 271 22/03/22 02917-02970 2.00pm to 4.17pm
22-03-2022 transcript 273 22/03/22 02886-02916 10.00am to 1.01pm
21-03-2022 transcript 245 21/03/22 02811-02860 2.00pm to 4.00pm
21-03-2022 transcript 267 21/03/22 02753-02810 10.00am to 1.03pm
09-12-2021 transcript 254 09/12/21 02705-02752 10.00am to 12.40pm
08-12-2021 transcript 195 08/12/21 02675-02704 2.00pm to 3.24pm
08-12-2021 transcript 242 08/12/21 02632-02674 10.00am to 1.09pm
06-12-2021 transcript 235 06/12/21 02591-02631 2.00pm to 3.48pm
06-12-2021 transcript 242 06/12/21 02548-02591 10.00am to 1.01pm
23-06-2021 transcript 205 23/06/21 02514-02547 2.30pm to 4.07pm
23-06-2021 transcript 226 23/06/21 02472-02513 10.30am to 1.08pm
22-06-2021 transcript 217 22/06/21 02432-02471 2.30pm to 4.12pm
18-06-2021 transcript 226 18/06/21 02391-02431 2.05pm to 3.54pm
18-06-2021 transcript 307 18/06/21 02324-02390 10.00am to 12.56pm
17-06-2021 transcript 218 17/06/21 02287-02323 2.00pm to 4.07pm
17-06-2021 transcript 333 17/06/21 02231-02286 10.30am to 12.49pm
16-06-2021 transcript 241 16/06/21 02189-02230 2.00pm to 4.03pm
16-06-2021 transcript 245 16/06/21 02143-02188 10.30am to 12.47pm
15-06-2021 transcript 231 15/06/21 02104-02142 2.15pm to 4.02pm
15-06-2021 transcript 228 15/06/21 02065-02103 11.00am to 12.59pm
11-06-2021 transcript 177 11/06/21 02038-02064 2.10am to 3.14pm
11-06-2021 transcript 310 11/06/21 01972-02037 10.00am to 1.12pm
10-06-2021 transcript 244 10/06/21 01926-01971 2.15pm to 4.03pm
10-06-2021 transcript 203 10/06/21 01893-01925 11.45am to 1.02pm
09-06-2021 transcript 212 09/06/21 01857-01892 2.00pm to 3.42pm
09-06-2021 transcript 304 09/06/21 01789-01856 10.00am to 1.02pm
08-06-2021 transcript 321 08/06/21 01714-01788 9.30am to 12.48pm
07-06-2021 transcript 137 07/06/21 01700-01713 2.15pm to 2.44pm
07-06-2021 transcript 280 07/06/21 01643-01699 10.00am to 1.03pm
04-06-2021 transcript 302 04/06/21 01578-01642 10.00am to 1.02pm
03-06-2021 transcript 171 03/06/21 01555-01577 3.15pm to 4.03pm
03-06-2021 transcript 279 03/06/21 01497-01554 9.30am to 1.02pm
02-06-2021 transcript 278 02/06/21 01450-01496 2.00pm to 4.01pm
02-06-2021 transcript 234 02/06/21 01409-01449 11.10am to 12.48pm
02-06-2021 transcript 99 02/06/21 01405-01408 10.00am to 10.19am
01-06-2021 transcript 197 01/06/21 01374-01404 2.15pm to 3.46pm
01-06-2021 transcript 211 01/06/21 01339-01373 11.00am to 1.21pm
31-05-2021 transcript 224 31/05/21 01302-01338 2.00pm to 4.02pm
31-05-2021 transcript 280 31/05/21 01248-01301 10.00am to 1.02pm
28-05-2021 transcript 178 28/05/21 01224-01247 3.00pm to 4.03pm
28-05-2021 transcript 317 28/05/21 01159-01223 10.00am to 1.14pm
27-05-2021 transcript 239 27/05/21 01116-01158 2.00pm to 4.03pm
27-05-2021 transcript 310 27/05/21 01053-01115 10.00am to 1.04pm
26-05-2021 transcript 301 26/05/21 01006-01052 2.00pm to 4.03pm
26-05-2021 transcript 294 26/05/21 00950-01005 10.30am to 1.04pm
25 05 2021 transcript 153 25/05/21 00931-00949 2.00pm to 2.53pm
25 05 2021 transcript 225 25/05/21 00890-00930 11.00am to 12.48pm
21-05-2021 transcript 201 21/05/21 00858-00889 2.00pm to 3.26pm
21-05-2021 transcript 234 21/05/21 00810-00857 10.00am to 12.02pm
20-05-2021 transcript 200 20/05/21 00777-00809 2.00pm to 3.41pm
20-05-2021 transcript 328 20/05/21 00706-00776 9.30am to 1.00pm
19-05-2021 transcript 152 19/05/21 00688-00705 3.30pm to 4.03pm
19-05-2021 transcript 120 19/05/21 00679-00687 2.15pm to 2.38pm
19-05-2021 transcript 304 19/05/21 00609-00678 9.30am to 1.12pm
18-05-2021 transcript 261 18/05/21 00561-00608 2.00pm to 4.02pm
18-05-2021 transcript 229 18/05/21 00520-00560 11.00am to 1.02pm
17-05-2021 transcript 243 17/05/21 00473-00519 2.00pm to 4.03pm
17-05-2021 transcript 265 17/05/21 00421-00472 10.00am to 1.01pm
14-05-2021 transcript 291 14/05/21 00358-00420 9.30am to 12.17pm
13-05-2021 transcript 230 13/05/21 00315-00357 2.00pm to 3.57pm
13-05-2021 transcript 269 13/05/21 00261-00314 10.00am to 12.59pm
12-05-2021 transcript 252 12/05/21 00213-00260 2.00pm to 4.05pm
12-05-2021 transcript 306 12/05/21 00148-00212 10.00am to 1.02pm
11-05-2021 transcript 181 11/05/21 00122-00147 2.00pm to 3.13pm
11-05-2021 transcript 248 11/05/21 00074-00121 11.00am to 1.03pm
10-05-2021 transcript 139 10/05/21 00037-00073 2.00pm to 3.55pm
10-05-2021 transcript 148 10/05/21 00001-00036 10.30am to 1.00pm
Exhibits
Paragon exhibit list (pdf)
Public notices