Research reports

Local Government: Review of council works depots

In 2013, IBAC investigated allegations of corrupt conduct involving employees at a council works depot. Operation Continent identified issues relating to the management of that council’s depot including poor record-keeping, lack of accountability for plant and equipment, inappropriate relationships with external contractors, and inadequate controls including a lack of audits, segregation of duties, and management of conflicts of interest.

Recognising that other councils may be facing similar risks, IBAC undertook a review of council depots aiming to identify common vulnerabilities in the operation of works depots. The review also aimed to identify opportunities to strengthen processes and other controls to build knowledge, skills and corruption prevention practice across the local government sector. The review focused on four key issues considered as

  • areas of particular vulnerability in Operation Continent, namely:
  • procurement
  • management of bulk consumables
  • management of small plant and equipment
  • leadership and culture.