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Police say CommBank bribery charges arise from exec granting a "lucrative IT contract without putting it to tender"

This sentence tells you what the Commonwealth Bank bribery scandal is all about:

Police will allege in court that the managers granted the IT company a "lucrative contract without putting it to public tender".

It's usually worth a very close look to find out why any large-scale contract is let without being put to a competitive process.   In this case, the bank and police allege bribery was at the heart of the decision.

The Trade Union Royal Commission still has 9 months to look carefully at the Dawesville Channel contract awarded by the Carmen Lawrence Cabinet to Thiess.    Thus far, there's been no compelling reason for the decision not to put the contract to tender - and we know corrupt payments were made from Thiess to Bruce Wilson.   Put simply, it smells very bad - just like the CommBank IT scandal.

Here's Fairfax's report today: 

Former Commonwealth Bank IT executive charged with bribery

A former IT executive at the Commonwealth Bank has been arrested and charged with bribery offences following an investigation involving police officers from NSW and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The 61-year-old US national living in Sydney, who police allege has now left his job at the bank, was arrested at a home in Surry Hills on Tuesday and charged with two counts of bribery following an investigation into more than $US1.5 million ($1.96 million) in corrupt payments allegedly being made to two of the bank's former staff.

Detectives will allege in court that two former employees of the bank were involved in a corrupt relationship with a now publicly-listed technology provider based in the US.

The bank contacted NSW Police earlier this year after its internal investigations allegedly revealed suspicious payments had been deposited into the bank accounts of two of the bank's senior IT staff.


Police will allege in court that the managers granted the IT company a "lucrative contract without putting it to public tender".

The managers allegedly received payments in return for awarding the company the contract, police say.

Detectives set up Strike Force Drawl to investigate the alleged corruption, and so far have frozen more than $US1.5 million in suspected corrupt payments.

Police said the 61-year-old arrested on Tuesday was refused police bail and is due to appear in Central Local Court on Wednesday.

Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, the commander of the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, said detectives would like to speak to the second former IT manager, who was overseas.

Strike Force Drawl detectives have asked officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist with their investigation.

Police said the investigation was ongoing.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth Bank confirmed that one of the organisation's former executives was due to face court on Wednesday.