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ICAC finds former Mine Subsidence Board manager corrupt

Wednesday 23 March 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.

In its report, Investigation into the conduct of a Mine Subsidence Board district manager, released today, the Commission finds that, between 2008 and 2014, Mr Bullock solicited and received $314,115.50 from contractor Kevin Inskip of Plantac Pty Ltd as an inducement or reward for him to exercise his official functions to favour, or not to show disfavour to, Mr Inskip’s business in relation to its work for the MSB. Mr Inskip and his wife Barbara Inskip, who were the directors of Plantac, engaged in serious corrupt conduct in relation to making the payments to Mr Bullock as an inducement or reward.

Mr Bullock also engaged in serious corrupt conduct by using his position to direct David Salmon, who operated another business that contracted to the MSB, A&DJ Building Services, to produce and submit 11 backdated A&DJ Building Services “cover quotes” (false invoices) to the MSB between 2006 and 2013. Mr Bullock also applied false “Received” date stamps to specific cover quotes and used them to exercise his official functions to show favour in providing work to Plantac by falsely representing that competitive quotations to Plantac’s had been sought and obtained in relation to work on those properties. Mr Bullock engaged in further serious corrupt conduct between 2007 and 2013 when he used his MSB position to direct Mr Inskip to produce and submit seven Plantac invoices in a reverse of the A&DJ Building Services exercise referred to above. Mr Salmon and Mr Inskip engaged in serious corrupt conduct with respect to their respective roles in these schemes.

Between 2007 and 2015, Mr Bullock corruptly arranged with 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. In the end, Mr Salmon paid Mr Bullock $83,600 and was also found to have engaged in serious corrupt conduct for paying that money as an inducement or reward for Mr Bullock exercising his official functions to favour, or not to show disfavour, to Mr Salmon’s business in relation to its work for the MSB.

The ICAC 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 report says that it was evident during the public inquiry held as part of this investigation that the MSB end-to-end claims management process lacked satisfactory controls to prevent corruption. The Commission makes seven corruption prevention recommendations including that the MSB strengthens its organisational capability to fulfil its obligations, and that it builds controls into the claims and tendering processes to restrict a single user having end-to-end control and exceeding expenditure delegations.

The public inquiry was conducted over 13 days between 20 March and 10 April 2015, and then between 25 and 29 May 2015. Commissioner the Hon Megan Latham presided at the public inquiry and 11 witnesses gave evidence.

Media contact: ICAC Manager Communications & Media Nicole Thomas 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801

Investigation report   Fact sheet