More than 50 sub-contractors from the federal government’s largest department are believed to be under investigation in a criminal fraud probe.
The sub-contractors, employed by the Department of Human Services for IT work, are accused of submitting false invoices as well as providing fake CVs and qualifications to secure contracts.
At least one public service employee is also under suspicion, with the department calling in the Australian Federal Police to help with the investigation.
The lawyer representing 10 of these sub-contractors said they had been inadvertently caught in a complex web of which they had no knowledge.
“A series of secondary subcontracting companies are at the middle of what has gone on,” lawyer Rory Markham told The Canberra Times.
“These companies engaged between 50 to 100 employees as subcontractors for large IT projects at the Department of Human Services.
“This process illustrates how increasingly unreliable and murky these secondary subcontracting arrangements can be.”
The employees had their access passes confiscated late last week and have now been asked back to speak with the department’s internal fraud team.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services confirmed the investigation.
“The Department of Human Services is conducting an internal investigation into allegations of potential fraudulent behaviour involving a small number of former contractors and an APS…
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