ICAC launches public inquiry into Sydney uni IT manager

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption will commence a public inquiry later this month as part of an investigation into former university IT manager Brett Roberts.

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has announced that it will be launching a public inquiry as part of an investigation into allegations concerning former university IT manager Brett Roberts.

The ICAC is currently investigating allegations that Roberts corruptly obtained benefits by issuing false invoices to the University of Newcastle, the University of Sydney, and Macquarie University while he held IT management positions at each of them between 2005 and 2013.

Prior to being reported to the ICAC about his possible corrupt conduct, Roberts was the IT manager at Macquarie University. His contract was subsequently terminated in December 2013, after a misconduct investigation committee found that Roberts was involved in corrupt conduct.

The committee had found that Roberts "failed to comply with the university's contract management policy and procedure, purchasing policy and procedure, and financial delegations of authority when entering into a contract for services between the university and a third party (Management and Professional Services Pty)".

"The inappropriate financial behaviour by Mr Roberts was picked up by the university's own financial safeguards and systems," a Macquarie University spokesperson said.

According to Macquarie University, the one payment of AU$29,500 that was made to Management and Professional Services has since been returned to the university by the company.

ICAC Commissioner Megan Latham will preside at the public inquiry, and counsel assisting the commission will be Anthony McGrath.

The public inquiry will commence on February 16, 2015, and is set to go for three days.

A similar case was addressed by the ICAC in 2012, when it found former University of Sydney IT manager Atilla Demiralay guilty of corrupt conduct.

Demiralay was accused of using a company he held a significant interest in to hire IT contractors, who were mainly family and friends, over a five-year period.