ICAC finds corrupt conduct and recommends changes to clean up NSW security industry training

Wednesday 9 December 2009

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has made corrupt conduct findings against 10 individuals and recommended that the NSW Police Commissioner assume ultimate responsibility for security industry integrity-related functions.

In its Report on corruption in the provision and certification of security industry training, released today, the Commission found that the industry's licence upgrade process failed in its objective to weed out incompetent and undesirable registered training organisations (RTOs) and security officers.

The report says that between 1 September 2007 and 9 March 2009, 28 RTOs issued nearly 45,000 training certificates. One of those RTOs, Roger Training Academy, issued around 26% of these certificates. The Commission found that some candidates enrolled in Roger security training courses were provided answers in advance to written tests to assess their competency in security-related activities, and were then issued certificates that falsely represented the prescribed competencies had been demonstrated.

In one instance, Roger Operations Manager Ali Merchant gave an ICAC undercover operative two false First Aid, three false Responsible Service of Alcohol and three false Responsible Conduct of Gaming certificates in the names of other persons in exchange for $800. Roger Training Academy Principal, Ahmed Moosani, made substantial profits from his misconduct, with most of $1.3 million deposited into his personal account in 2008 and 2009 coming from Roger. 

The ICAC has recommended that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) be sought with respect to the prosecution of Mr Moosani, Ali Merchant, and Roger trainers Hamdi Alqudsi, Dru Hyland and Shane Camilleri for various criminal offences, along with Vivek Raghaven from Security International Services, Craig Wheeler from Security Industry Brokers and Tibi Brandusoiu. Corrupt conduct findings were also made against the above individuals plus Nick Bosynak and Jose Sanz, with the Commission also recommending that the Security Industry Registrar revoke the security licences of the latter two.

The Commission has made 16 corruption prevention recommendations to address the fundamental regulatory problems besetting the industry. The Commission examined the "fragmentary and confused state of the current regulatory system", and considered how the evidence of "corrupt conduct and poor quality recognition of prior learning assessments uncovered during this investigation raises real doubts about the legitimacy of all current security licences in NSW and the integrity and competence of all security training providers".

Functions the ICAC considers the NSW Police Commissioner should assume ultimate responsibility for include corruption prevention, corruption risk management, and fraud and corruption investigation and detection. The Commission also recommends that the Security Industry Registrar (SIR) should be given sufficient, dedicated staffing and other resources to implement the above recommendation, without reliance on staff from other sections of the Police, the Vocational Education and Training Board, the approved industry associations or any other organisations. It also recommends that the SIR should take steps to determine the validity of all security qualifications granted during the upgrade process. 

The Commission recommends that VETAB improve its auditing and monitoring of RTOs to ensure early detection of training, assessment or recognition of prior learning not conducted in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework standards.

The ICAC held a public inquiry as part of this investigation over nine days between 24 August and 11 September 2009. The former Commissioner, the Hon Jerrold Cripps QC, presided at the inquiry, at which 28 persons gave evidence.

Fact sheet

Investigation report