IT outsourcer United Edge has been dragged into the ongoing scandal surrounding the Health Services Union (HSU) East branch, and accused of overcharging the union on the $1.3 million per year it received.
The accusations came as part of the interim report leaked yesterday into HSU East, which is being conducted by Ian Temby, a former commissioner of the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
The report states that between April 2008 and September 2011, the union paid United Edge $4,869,816.52 for services, equating to over $1.3 million per year.
According to the report, it is alleged that United Edge charges excessive amounts of money to provide IT services for the union. The report claims that United Edge won the contract for those services without ever tendering for it, and charges the union for a service that a Victorian IT company also bills the union for, at a cost of $15,000 per month.
United Edge is also alleged to work out of the HSU's Pitt Street offices in Sydney, but pays no rent to the union, and runs ads in the union's magazine without paying for them.
Temby alleges in the report that HSU East general secretary Michael Williamson facilitated the agreement with United Edge. He is also a director for United Edge.
Williamson has been stood aside from his role at HSU East while the investigation is underway.
United Edge was contacted for comment last night, but had not responded at the time of writing.
The HSU East branch acting general secretary Peter Mylan said in a letter to members that the union council looked forward to the release of the full report, and will review the findings before reporting back to members.
Temby was appointed by the HSU in October last year to investigate tender, recruitment, expenditure and the use of the HSU's corporate credit cards. The scandal embroiling the union has led to Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson leaving the Federal Labor Party, forcing him to sit on the cross benches while the investigation is ongoing. Thomson was the national secretary for the HSU between 2002 and 2007 prior to being elected to parliament in the 2007 election, and it is alleged that he used corporate credit cards to pay for escort services.