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 user 2009-10-27 at 11:12:53 am Views: 36
  • #22502
    Photocopier toner prompts corruption investigation
    Corruption and Crime Commission in WA is investigating the purchase of
    office materials by State Government agencies and local governments.The
    CCC is investigating allegations the State Government spent hundreds of
    thousands of dollars more on photocopy toner than it needed to because
    of bullying and deceptive sales techniques by Consumable Management
    Group.In his opening comments, counsel assisting Kevin Taverner said
    CMG had sold overpriced toner, costing the State Government in excess
    of $310,000.

    The investigation will examine how government
    officials purchased the toner outside of agreed practices, known as
    common user agreements.The sales program ran throughout Western
    Australia, targeting people from the state’s north, Perth and
    Bunbury.Trevor Gould from the Department of Agriculture in Bentley says
    he was rung every 15 minutes by staff working at a subsidiary of CMG,
    Mycom Laser.Mycom Laser was trying to pressure Mr Gould to buy the
    toner and gave him gifts including a GPS, TV and vouchers.
    CCC hearing into toner cartridge bribery
    corruption watchdog is investigating whether a Melbourne-based company
    bribed West Australian public servants into buying toner cartridges at
    overinflated prices and in such quantities that a whole office was
    needed to store them.

    The Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC)
    started public hearings in Perth on Monday to determine whether any
    public officer had been engaged in misconduct by purchasing items,
    particularly toner cartridges, at an overinflated price from Victorian
    company Consumable Management Group (CMG).Counsel assisting the
    commission Kevin Tavener said the hearings, set down for three days,
    would shine “a narrow spotlight on the conduct of public officers who
    appeared to have been inveigled by a complex sales technique” applied
    by CMG.

    Mr Tavener said some public servants were offered
    vouchers and inducements including golfing vouchers to buy CMG’s
    products.”The application of the particular sales technique led to some
    of those public officers ordering items, in particular toner cartridges
    for photocopying machines, which was overpriced and not of the stated
    quality,” Mr Tavener told the hearing.”The sales techniques included
    bullying, deception and the use of inducements.”Mr Tavener said in a
    three-year period between January 2006 and January 2009, state
    government entities spent $316,000 more with CMG than if they had
    followed the government policies.He said procurement officers must
    follow set guidelines when making purchases to ensure government
    agencies received the best value for money.

    He told the hearing
    that due to the excess of cartridges supplied by CMG, a dedicated room
    full of toners had to be created.”On one occasion a manager contacted
    the company to advise them that they were inundated with so many toners
    they had to designate an office just to store them in,” Mr Tavener
    said.”The salesperson advised the manager that he had never been
    advised that they were overstocked, despite assurances from the manager
    that her staff had been trying to cancel the orders for a number of
    months.”CMG’s sales program was widespread across WA, Mr Tavener
    said.The hearings continues.