The Defence Department has called in the Australian Federal Police to investigate the awarding of a contract in 2005 for air charter services to the Middle East following media reports of misconduct between members of the ADF and the winner of the contract, Strategic Aviation Group.
The referral to the AFP came after The Age newspaper published allegations that Strategic received inside information from serving ADF personnel to win the contract for air support services to the Middle East Area of Operations in 2005. The two Army personnel, David Charlton and John Davies, were later employed in senior management positions by Strategic.
“Defence has assessed these allegations and determined that, if proven, they give rise to a range of potential criminal offences. In accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines, Defence referred these allegations to the Australian Federal Police late last week,” Defence said in a statement, adding that it would not comment further in light of the AFP investigation.
The allegations of insider dealing emerged after Strategic claimed that rival firm Adagold Aviation had used inside knowledge to win a new tender for the contract earlier this year. Defence is continuing an investigation into the tender process, and it currently remains incomplete.