ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning University of Sydney and contract security services providers
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry starting on Monday 11 February as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations concerning the University of Sydney, its contracted security services provider Sydney Night Patrol & Inquiry Co Pty Ltd (SNP Security) and SNP Security’s subcontractor, S International Group Pty Ltd (SIG) (Operation Gerda).
The Commission is investigating whether, since January 2009, SNP Security and/or SIG staff have dishonestly obtained a financial benefit from the University by creating false entries on daily time sheets and submitting these for payment to the University.
The ICAC is also investigating whether any University of Sydney employee dishonestly obtained a financial benefit from, or acted partially in, exercising their public official functions for the benefit of SNP Security and/or SIG and/or any of their employees.
The Commission is also examining whether SNP Security, SIG and/or any of their employees engaged in conduct that, or could have, adversely affected the exercise of official functions by the University and/or any of its employees, and which could have involved bribery and/or fraud.
Further, the ICAC is examining whether any employee of the University, SNP Security and/or SIG engaged in conduct that impaired, or could impair, public confidence in public administration because it involved dishonestly obtaining, assisting in obtaining or dishonestly benefiting from, the payment or application of public funds for private advantage.
The public notice is available at https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/component/investigations/article/5438?Itemid=4195 and the ICAC media release at https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/component/investigations/article/5437?Itemid=4195.
The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority will administer a special new liquor licence for music festivals under plans to improve safety at these events.
The NSW Government will implement this and other recommendations of an expert panel, which was convened to improve safety at music festivals following the deaths of two young people who attended the Defqon.1 festival in September.
Chair of the Authority Philip Crawford was appointed to the expert panel, alongside Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant.
All of the expert panel’s recommendations have been accepted in-principle by the NSW Government. They focus on three key areas:
- Improving the regulation of music festivals by introducing a new, specific and consistent licensing regime to improve safety, and provide certainty for the music festival industry and other stakeholders.
- Strengthening drug and alcohol education, and providing more support for frontline health workers at music festivals.
- Strengthening laws to target drug suppliers by introducing a new offence that will hold drug dealers responsible for deaths they cause, and trialling on-the-spot fines for drug possession at music festivals.
Read the expert panel’s report
A three month trial has started in Dubbo for a digital version of the traditional NSW driver licence.
The trial will test the digital driver licence in real life situations, so it can be used in a similar way to the existing plastic licence.
The large regional city of Dubbo was chosen for the trial due to its demographic spread, the NSW Police Force Western Region headquarters being located there, and because the city has a variety of pubs and clubs where the digital licence can be tested.
The trial will initially focus on two common uses for driver licences:
- selected interactions with police, such as random alcohol and drug tests and traffic stops
- providing evidence of identity and age at selected licensed venues.
For more information about the trial, visit the digital driver licence trial website.
This Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) has been released for the 2017 remake of the Firearms Regulation 2006 (the FR) and the Weapons Prohibition Regulation 2009 (WPR).
It is acknowledged that some of the proposed amendments may incur an additional initial cost to firearms licence holders, or prohibited weapons permit holders but ultimately will improve service provision. While the cost to individual persons is difficult to quantify in total; no increase in fees is being considered as part of the review.
The review is intended to ensure the Regulations are up to date, adhere to the Government's better regulation principles, are in plain English, reduce red tape wherever possible, and protect public safety.
Comment from firearm licence holders, government agencies and other interested parties is sought to help ensure the remade Regulations reflect the needs of the NSW community.
The issues raised in this RIS have been presented to correspond to the structure of the current Regulations for ease of reference.
There is no set format for submissions; however short comment with reference to the part or clause of the Draft Regulation to which the issue relates is encouraged. Detailed submissions without reference to the Draft Regulations have increased likelihood of key issues being missed.
Only comments relating to the Draft Regulations will be considered. Not all comments may be incorporated into the final Regulations.
If you wish to keep your comments private, please mark your submission as confidential.
Submissions can be made by email or post, however, posted submission must reach the Office for Police by the close of submission date. Email is the preferred option.
Office for Police, Department of Justice
GPO Box 5434
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Submissions must be received no later than 5.00pm Monday 31 July 2017.
On 9 May 2017, changes to the Security Industry Act 1997 commenced. The changes can be viewed at http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/acts/2017-16.pdf
The amended legislation can be viewed on these links.
icare is the new State Government authority that administers Workers Compensation in NSW. icare now handle all policy underwriting and billing – meaning clients will receive renewal documentation directly from icare and they must pay icare directly.
Insurers, acting as agents for the scheme now only take care of claims handling. However, CGU and QBE are not renewing their agreements at the end of the year meaning the number of insurer “agents” will be reduced to: Allianz, Employers Mutual Limited and GIO.
Any employers with policies with CGU and QBE will be transferred to one of the above, for claims handling.
Members can obtain further information at https://www.icare.nsw.gov.au/our-services/workers-insurance.
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has cancelled the registration of three registered training organisations that were delivering security training in New South Wales.
The providers are Sage Academy Training Pty Ltd, Premier Training Institute and Safety and First Aid Education Pty Ltd.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured almost $30,000 for five underpaid employees of a NSW-based security services company.
The five security guards were underpaid a total of $29,690 when they were employed by Unimet Security Pty Ltd, which provides security services at a variety of different sites.
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving requests for assistance from two guards.
The guards were paid flat rates of $20 to $22 an hour, which were insufficient to cover their minimum entitlements under the Security Services Industry Award.
As casual employees, they were entitled to a minimum Award hourly rate of $24.28 for ordinary hours, a night rate of $28.49, weekend rates of up to $43.70 and up to $53.41 on public holidays.
The largest underpayments were $12,086 for a guard who worked at the Stockland Shellharbour Shopping Centre and $6454 for a guard who was placed by Unimet at a Centrelink site at Corrimal in Wollongong.
Unimet co-operated with the Fair Work Ombudsman, including conducting a self-audit to help identify the full extent of underpayments and promptly back-paying workers in full.
The company has also entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman aimed at encouraging behavioural change and future compliance.
Under the EU, the company has agreed to donate $1000 to the Mt Druitt & Area Community Legal Centre in Western Sydney and to commission external professional audits of its compliance with workplace laws over the next three years and promptly rectify any underpayments discovered.
The company will also terminate its contract with any contractor it finds has breached workplace laws; apologise to the underpaid workers; display workplace notices detailing its contraventions; and register with the Fair Work Ombudsman’s My Account portal.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the case illustrates the dangers of paying flat rates of pay, without reference to the applicable Award.
“Improving compliance in the security industry continues to be a focus for us and employers in this sector need to realise it is unlawful to pay flat rates that undercut award entitlements, even if employees say they agree to it,” Ms James said.
Resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au include a template questionnaire for security contractors vying for work, sample clauses to include in contracts and tools for determining minimum employees pay rates, including penalties and overtime.
In a first for Australia, Liquor & Gaming NSW in partnership with Service NSW has introduced a digital licence for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) competency cardholders.
Individuals can now download the digital version of their card on any smartphone or tablet.
Benefits of the digital competency card
- It is available for existing and new cardholders, providing a convenient, secure digital licence that can be downloaded on smartphone or tablet. The app will work even when network coverage is unavailable.
- The digital competency card solves the issue of employees losing their card or leaving it at home. It can be quickly displayed on any smartphone or tablet when you or inspectors need to check it.
- The digital card provides real time updates, and displays renewal reminders and a history of checks by compliance officers.
While it is up to the licensee as to where staff keep their phones while working, it is recommended that phones are easily accessible in case of an inspection.
The digital licence is initially being introduced as an optional extra to the physical card.
Cardholders should check with their employer about the use of digital licences and accessibility while at work and decide whether the physical competency cards should also be carried.
The digital competency card is available to download through the MyServiceNSW app, available on the iTunes Store or Google Play.
More information on the RSA/RCG competency card digital licence and how to apply for one, is available on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website.
The NSW Police Force Community Portal gives the public the option to report lost property, intentional damage or graffiti and theft, via a secure, efficient and convenient website.
Use of the portal, which is linked to a MyServiceNSW account, also allows people who report non-urgent crime to make and receive updates and to be contacted directly by police if further information is required.
To use the portal, people simply create a MyServiceNSW account on the Service NSW website, or from the home page of the NSW Police Force Community Portal, to successfully complete a report.
You can create a new MyServiceNSW account directly from the home page of the NSW Police Force Community Portal:https://portal.police.nsw.gov.au/ or via the Service NSW website: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/.
If you're already a registered user, simply logon to the NSW Police Force Community Portal using your MyServiceNSW account and you will be re-directed to Service NSW to link to the NSW Police Force.
You can also access the NSW Police Force Community Portal and learn more about the platform by visiting the NSW Police Force home page: www.police.nsw.gov.au.