TAFE execs slammed over software
Two former TAFE NSW execs have been labelled corrupt.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has released a report into the conduct of two former finance managers at the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE.
It found they corruptly accepted almost $450,000 from IT consultancy Oscillosoft to promote its budgeting software.
The managers, Hasan Mamun and Samiul Kabir, were paid by Oscillosoft to favour the software over the course of four years.
The pair solicited and received around $228,153 and $220,435, respectively, in relation to the budgeting planning software program, iPlan.
The iPlan program was taken on as a temporary solution for WSI TAFE, ahead of the release of a TAFE-wide educational planning and integrated costing program at the end of 2014.
But the program started popping up in other institutes across the state, leading to questions over the original procurement with Oscillosoft, which it was found “did not have the appropriate ICT accreditation under the NSW government's standard commercial framework for ICT services”.
iPlan ended up being purchased by nine of the 10 TAFE NSW institutes at a cost of $3.4 million between January 2014 and August 2018.
ICAC also found Oscillosoft directors Kazi Hassan, Ashique Ibrahim and Mohammad Suza-Ud-Dawllah “engaged in serious corrupt conduct” by facilitating the payments and gifts to Mamun and Kabir.
Mr Mamun reportedly approached Oscillosoft founder Kazi Hassan, an acquaintance in the Bangladeshi community, in mid-2013, to ask about developing a software program for the TAFE.
A prototype was quickly developed within three to four months period and presented to WSI TAFE executives in March 2014. Mr Mamun was subsequently asked to “roll it out”.
ICAC found Mr Mamun did not obtain multiple quotations for the work, despite the original proposal costing above the TAFE’s $30,000 threshold.
“The Commission is satisfied that Mr Mamun knew that he did not comply with proper procurement processes when he acquired the iPlan software program,” the report said.
“He knew that he was required to get approval to directly negotiate with a contractor and that an IT contractor should be on the list of ICT accredited suppliers.
“The Commission is also satisfied that Mr Mamun deliberately ignored and circumvented the proper procurement processes in order to engineer the sourcing of the program from Oscillosoft.”
ICAC is speaking with the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions over whether or not to prosecute Mr Mamun and Mr Kabir and three Oscillosoft directors, for various alleged offences.