ICAC finds six corrupt following investigations into the soliciting and receipt of money within RailCorp and Housing NSW

Monday 13 October 2014

In its report Investigation into the conduct of a RailCorp manager and a Housing NSW employee, released today, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) finds that two public officials used their official positions to solicit and receive over $682,000 from employees and contractors.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) finds that former RailCorp manager Joseph Camilleri, Housing NSW employee Carmen Attard, former RailCorp employee Saviour (Sam) Cassar, Kevin McCarthy, an employee of a RailCorp contractor, Anthony Courtman, a former employee of a RailCorp contractor, and Mark Ross-Smith, a former RailCorp consultant, engaged in corrupt conduct.

The ICAC found that Joseph Camilleri engaged in corrupt conduct by soliciting and receiving approximately $638,000 from various RailCorp employees and contractors between February 2012 and February 2013, and that, during this time, his sister, Carmen Attard, corruptly solicited and received approximately $44,000 from Housing NSW staff.

Mr Camilleri was a senior manager at RailCorp. That position gave him influence over the completion of large-scale procurement processes and decisions affecting subordinate RailCorp staff. From 2008, Mr Camilleri provided large amounts of his personal funds to his daughter Jessica Camilleri. By early 2012 Mr Camilleri's personal wealth was exhausted, and he commenced soliciting money from RailCorp employees and contractors using various outlandish and implausible stories about his daughter's need for money, including that she had been a victim of identity theft and was involved in protracted litigation. Ms Camilleri gave evidence that her financial problems were in fact due to her personal debts and a "big gambling problem".

The Commission is satisfied that Mr Camilleri was aware of and understood the relevant RailCorp code of conduct provisions relating to gifts and benefits and how his conduct had the potential to create conflicts of interest. The Commission is satisfied that the motivations of Messrs Cassar, McCarthy, Courtman and Ross-Smith for providing loans to Mr Camilleri was to ingratiate themselves with a senior manager of RailCorp and to influence Mr Camilleri to exercise his official functions for their benefit.

Former RailCorp employee Saviour Cassar provided $56,000 to Mr Camilleri. RailCorp contractor Mr McCarthy provided $428,000 to Mr Camilleri. Mr Courtman, a RailCorp contractor provided $3,000 to Mr Camilleri, who exercised his influence by including the company Mr Courtman worked for in a RailCorp tender panel and alerting Mr Courtman to an imminent RailCorp tender, while RailCorp contractor Mr Ross-Smith provided $36,000 to Mr Camilleri, who arranged for Mr Ross-Smith's engagement as a RailCorp project manager.

The Commission found that Mrs Attard engaged in corrupt conduct in 2012 by soliciting and receiving $44,000 from her subordinate Housing NSW employees for Mr Camilleri, the receipt of which she knew would tend to influence her to exercise her official functions in favour of those staff members.

The ICAC is of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Mr Camilleri, Mr McCarthy, Mr Cassar and Mrs Attard for offences of corruptly soliciting, receiving or giving a benefit under s 249B of the Crimes Act 1900, and that the DPP advice should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Ms Camilleri for an offence of recruiting Mr Camilleri to destroy documents or things relating to an ICAC investigation under s 351A of the Crimes Act.

The Commission is also of the opinion that consideration should be given to the taking of action against Mrs Attard for breaches of the Housing NSW code of conduct with a view to terminating her services with that authority.

The Commission held a public inquiry, as part of the investigation, over eight days between 17 and 28 February 2014. Commissioner the Hon Megan Latham presided at the public inquiry, at which 16 witnesses gave evidence.

The Commission also today furnished its report, Investigation into concerns that Sydney Local Health District engaged consultants at the Yaralla Estate because of political donations and links to the Liberal Party to the NSW Parliament. The Commission's investigation did not disclose any evidence of corrupt conduct in this matter.

The full reports are available on the ICAC website at www.icac.nsw.gov.au.

Media contact: ICAC Acting Manager Media Sue Bolton 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801

Fact sheet

Investigation report