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Roads and Maritime Services Employees in deep water over dodgy contracts

NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption
Date published
January 2021

Relevant impacts: Financial impact, reputational impact and government outcomes impact

Over a 10 year period, 2 employees of the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (NRMS) allegedly awarded over $41 million worth of contracts to companies that they were associated with. The employees were also accused of exchanging contracts for luxury cars, cash, jewellery, school fees and international flights.

According to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption enquiry, many of the NRMS contracts did not meet the threshold for an open tender process. This meant only 3 contractors had 3 companies controlled by the same person could pretend to bid against themselves.

Related countermeasures

Make sure a manager, independent person or expert oversees actions and decisions. Involving multiple people in actions and decisions increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.

Rotate staff and contractors in and out of roles to avoid familiarity. Staff and contractors can become too familiar with processes, customers or vendors, which can lead to insider threats.

Separate duties by allocating tasks and associated privileges for a business process to multiple staff. This is very important in areas such as payroll, finance, procurement, contract management and human resources. Systems help to enforce the strong separation of duties. This is also known as segregation of duties.

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