Commission set to probe corruption in education department

Commission set to probe corruption in education department

A hearing is about to be launched into allegations of serious corruption in the education sector.

The allegations – which involve some of the state’s most senior past and present education public servants - will be examined by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), starting on Monday, 27 April 2015 at the County Court of Victoria.

Leading the Commission will be Stephen O'Bryan QC, who will probe the Education Department for answers about a multimillion-dollar funding program dubbed "banker schools".

"The examinations are part of a number of ongoing investigations into alleged serious corruption at the Department of Education and Training," IBAC said on its website.

IBAC added that the investigation - named Operation Ord - would focus on "the alleged involvement of current and former DET staff in the establishment of 'banker schools', the allocation of funds to schools for goods and services that were not always provided, and the misuse of Department funds".

Fairfax Media reported this week that it was aware of former high-ranking education bureaucrats engaging criminal lawyers to help them navigate the IBAC inquiry.

Some principals and school business managers have also been warned by IBAC investigators that they risked committing perjury offences by not answering questions about the banker schools program honestly.

There will also be an investigation into “whether DET staff (or their associates), and school principals and business managers received financial or other benefits as a result".

Anyone with relevant information is encouraged to contact IBAC on 1300 735 135.