08 December 2008 | Paul Snell
Australia's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is to seek advice on the prosecution of 33 people for a total of 663 offences related to its investigation into purchasing at the state-owned railway firm RailCorp.
It follows the completion of 'Operation Monto', the ICAC's inquiry into allegations of corruption and bribery in procurement at the company.
In its seventh investigative report, ICAC commissioner Jerrold Cripps said several former staff members "grasped at every opportunity to exploit their employment at RailCorp to corruptly maximise the benefits they derived from their work".
This included steering millions of dollars of contracts to favoured suppliers and receiving benefits in exchange, falsely claiming accommodation and travel allowances, and selling stolen scrap metal worth more than AUS$10,000 (£4,248).
Another employee left the company shortly before he was about to be sacked for submitting a false timesheet. Despite his personnel file being marked "not suitable for re-hire", he quickly gained employment as a contractor, and proceeded to claim for 70 hours work he had not done.
The ICAC will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions whether to prosecute those it has made corruption findings against. The Commission is due to publish a final report within the next few weeks.