01 November 2012
Ex-officer faces probe over cleaning deals
One man whose company had bid for the tenders said the process ''stunk'', and the relationship between the former policeman and a consultant who also awarded the tenders was far too close.
The Ethical Standards Department is investigating the claims, as well as suggestions of the former senior sergeant's misconduct in receiving financial advantage.
Companies that bid for the tenders, to provide commercial cleaning at several police buildings, were told the process had been suspended in August. About half the tender packages, worth about $14 million over three years, had already been allocated.
''I've been involved in the business a long time and applied for a lot of tenders, and this one stunk,'' said one cleaner, who did not wish to be named.
''It all made sense when I found out who the copper who had been awarding the tenders had gone to work for.''
The cleaner said the integrity of the process had been compromised because of the consultant's friendship with the former senior sergeant.
The senior sergeant and consultant had awarded the tenders alongside a non-sworn Victoria Police member.
It is believed the conduct of the non-sworn member is not being investigated.
Police confirmed that an investigation was looking into the allocation of several tenders last year. ''Victoria Police is not in a position to comment any further,'' a spokeswoman said. ''We are not in a position to confirm the personal particulars of who may or may not be under investigation for any offence.''
It is believed that police were told about some concerns regarding the tenders when a cleaning company approached the police property services division in July.
The consultant, who claims to have worked for businesses and government organisations for almost 20 years on a state-wide and national basis, declined to comment, saying only: ''There's nothing to talk about, as far as I'm concerned.''
The former police officer could not be contacted.
The Age has decided not to name the former officer or consultant involved.
Police would not comment about how tender panels were selected, but said Victorian Government Purchasing Board processes were applied.
The board's 2011-12 annual report found Victoria Police had not recorded any procurement breaches that year. In most cases, however, complaints about tenders are sent directly to the organisation that has put out the request.
Grounds for complaint, according to Tenders Victoria, include possible bias towards the respondent who was awarded the contract, collusion among tender respondents, or corruption between the agency and tender respondents.