RMS worker received Rolex, Ferrari: ICAC

Angelo RissoAAP
Two former former NSW Roads and Maritime Services staff face claims of receiving contract kickbacks.
Camera IconTwo former former NSW Roads and Maritime Services staff face claims of receiving contract kickbacks. Credit: AAP

A former NSW Roads and Maritime Services worker received a Rolex watch, luxury cars including Porsches and a Ferrari, and significant cash payments for rigging contract allocation processes to favour friends and family, an anti-corruption inquiry has heard.

In the 10 years to 2019 ex-RMS employees Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn allegedly awarded more than $41 million in contracts to companies with which they were linked, receiving almost $7m in kickbacks.

Both are now under the Independent Commission Against Corruption spotlight, with their six-week hearing beginning on Monday.

In his opening address counsel assisting the commission Jason Downing, SC, said Mr Dubois and Mr Steyn worked as program officers from 2014 in an RMS department associated with heavy vehicle maintenance and safety.

The pair had worked for RMS or its predecessor the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) since 2009.

Mr Downing said Mr Dubois rigged processes to bestow RMS contracts on companies controlled by his friends, associates and family.

On a number of occasions, these companies were registered at the precise time they were put forward by Mr Dubois as contractors, he said.

After being involved in the creation of quotes, Mr Dubois would then recommend contracts with a sufficient profit margin to ensure he got a kickback.

Mr Downing said those kickbacks were received either through cash payments, expensive gifts or a slush fund linked to company MWK Developments, controlled by a friend of Mr Dubois.

Mr Dubois was also handed debit cards linked to accounts run by contractor companies, which he could use to meet his living expenses.

From 2009, and particularly from 2014, Mr Dubois obtained cash and luxury items including a Rolex watch, several Porsches and a Ferrari F40 sports car.

Mr Steyn rigged the contract process in a similar fashion, Mr Downing said, obtaining a free knockdown and rebuild of his home, electronic devices and funds for living, travelling and school expenses.

The pair's supervisor was "ill-equipped or wilfully uninterested" in their activities, Mr Downing said, and may have turned a blind eye to wrongdoing.

He said the RMS' vetting and due diligence processes had failed.

"(There was) no particular sophistication in the conduct of Mr Dubois and Mr Steyn ... even cursory due diligence would have demonstrated the contractors were not at arm's length," Mr Downing said on Monday.

RMS processes dictated that jobs costing less than $50,000 were contracted based on one quote, while those costing between $50,000 and $250,000 required three competing bids.

Officers would then recommend the best option.

But Mr Dubois often arranged for three companies controlled by the same people - linked to him - to bid for the contract, Mr Downing said.

The accepted price would then be high enough to ensure his kickback.

CBF Projects, a company controlled by two men associated with Mr Dubois, received more than $13m in RMS contracts, Mr Downing said.

Mr Downing said the evidence indicated Mr Dubois understood his actions were wrong but believed the state of NSW was no worse off for his actions, as tax payers had nevertheless received value for money.

But the counsel assisting said Mr Dubois was mistaken.

"The inescapable fact is that the work was being done on the basis that the prices charged through the companies ... included a margin to reflect the kickbacks they would ultimately pay to, or on behalf of, Mr Dubois," he said.

"On any view, if those kickbacks were removed from the equation, work would've been done and delivered to the RTA/RMS at a lower cost."

The inquiry continues before ICAC chief commissioner Peter Hall QC.

Mr Dubois and Mr Steyn were fired from RMS in 2019.

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