Feeds

Corruption claims put IT contracting under the spotlight

Boils lanced in NSW, Victoria

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Two corruption scandals in the Australian tech sector came to a head yesterday, turning a harsh spotlight on how government bodies go about contracting out IT services.

Victoria’s Ombudsman released a damning report into that state’s IT body CeniTex, while in NSW, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) released its report into IT procurement at Sydney University.

CeniTex, established in 2008 to act as a one-stop-shop for government IT in Victoria, became a feeding frenzy. According to the report tabled in parliament by acting Ombudsman John Taylor, contracts were awarded to companies operated by friends or family of CeniTex staffers, contractors were routinely paid $AU1,000 per day, and conflicts of interest were poorly handled.

The Ombudsman says that his investigation had identified “failures in internal checks and balances at CeniTex, serious improper conduct, undeclared and inadequately managed conflicts of interest”, and “poor procurement and recruitment processes”.

The report also suggests contract-splitting, in which projects were contracted out in small parcels to avoid them being put to tender, may have taken place, and accuses the agency of sham tendering.

One company, not identified in the report, was paid $AU40 million over more than 300 separate purchase orders. “This suggests that engagements may have been split by CeniTex in order to avoid tender thresholds”.

Last year, an investigation by the Fairfax newspaper The Age suggested that a hosting contract had been awarded to a shelf company established by CeniTex executives. That report sparked a police investigation which the Ombudsman said delayed his investigation.

In NSW, the University of Sydney is red-faced after ICAC announced the results of its investigation into contracting practises at the sandstone-league institution.

The ICAC has found that IT manager Atilla “Todd” Demiralay used a company operated by his wife to recruit contractors, engaged his brother-in-law to work at the university without disclosing their relationship, and handed a job to a close friend without considering other candidates.

The investigation has found that more than $AU1.5 million was paid to Demiralay’s companies.

The University’s decision to use the staffer’s companies for recruitment also gets a serve, since the NSW government has a panel of recruitment firms whose services were therefore already available to the institution. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?