Corruption body IBAC to examine case involving South West TAFE

South West TAFE is set to appear before the state’s anti-corruption body in relation to a case of corrupt conduct also involving Bendigo Kangan Institute and V/Line.

The examinations by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), named Operation Lansdowne, will explore allegations of serious corruption involving the vocational education and training and transport sectors.

In 2015, The Standardreported South West TAFE, which has multiple campuses at locations including Warrnambool, Hamilton and Portland, had asked police to examine a third-party contractor running an engineering course after uncovering irregularities.

South West TAFE chief executive Mark Fidge said he was not able to comment because the investigation was ongoing.

“We will continue to cooperate with IBAC and other relevant authorities as part of this process,” he said.

Among other things, the body will investigate whether current or former South West TAFE or Kangan Institute officers misused their position to award or interfere in the awarding of qualifications, and the circumstances surrounding the negotiation, execution, implementation and management of third party training agreements.

Taytell Pty Ltd, directed by Rebecca Taylor, was named as the organisation involved in the third party training agreements in a summary of the investigation put out by IBAC.

Earlier reporting said South West TAFE started an investigation in 2014 following an audit, and its board referred allegations to police on October 14 that year.

Public examinations will begin on June 27 in Melbourne at the County Court of Victoria.