Operation Betka was an IBAC investigation into allegations of serious corrupt conduct at Victoria's Department of Education and Training.
In July 2016, IBAC received a notiﬁcation from the Department of Education and Training (the Department) pursuant to section 57(1) of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (IBAC Act), concerning allegations a contracted Senior Project Manager (the Project Manager) in the Information Technology Division (ITD) of the Department was involved in serious corrupt conduct.
IBAC investigated allegations that the Project Manager used his position within the Department to provide business opportunities to a company he owned (Company A). Company A provided almost $14 million in contracted stafﬁng resources to the Department between 2003 and 2016.
What did IBAC do?
IBAC used a range of investigative techniques during the course of Operation Betka, including obtaining substantial documentation both voluntarily and by way of summons, interviewing key witnesses and conducting private examinations.
What were the outcomes?
IBAC found there were signiﬁcant failings in how the Project Manager identiﬁed, declared, and managed the conﬂict of interest produced by his concurrent roles at the Department and as the director of Company A, which provided IT contractors to the Department. While some departmental managers were aware of the Project Manager's connection to Company A, the Project Manager failed to appropriately document and manage the conﬂict of interest.
Additionally, IBAC found those responsible for supervising the Project Manager failed to document, report and monitor his conﬂict of interest. They also lacked awareness of departmental procurement procedures and policies.
While the available evidence was not sufﬁcient to support criminal charges, IBAC found the poor disclosure and mismanagement of the Project Manager's conﬂict of interest enabled him to use his position to inﬂuence the engagement of the Department's IT staff to the beneﬁt of his company and the disadvantage of competing IT contractor suppliers.
The Department ceased the Project Manager's engagement in July 2016.