RBA accused of covering up corruption

English: Reserve Bank of Australia located on ...

English: Reserve Bank of Australia located on London Circuit in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

News Report mirrored from news.com.au
August 8, 2012 01:31PM

AN anti-corruption body has accused the Reserve Bank of Australia of covering up evidence of bribery by its note-printing subsidiaries.  Seven former employees of Securency International and Note Printing Australia (NPA) and the companies themselves have been charged with bribing foreign officials to secure contracts to print bank notes.

Although no RBA officials or staff have been charged, the central bank has faced allegations it suppressed evidence of secret commissions paid to middle men hired by the subsidiaries to secure bank note contracts in Malaysia and Nepal.  Transparency International Australia’s executive director Michael Ahrens said the RBA’s behaviour in the case was “tantamount to a cover-up”.

“We do believe that it was incumbent upon them to report promptly any credible evidence of the sort that seems to have emerged,” he told a parliamentary inquiry hearing in Canberra on Wednesday.  The RBA has been criticised for referring the allegations to a law firm before referring them to the police.

Mr Ahrens said the RBA’s failure to refer the issue promptly to the police “will add to the damage to our international reputation”.  “These cases that are emerging in Australia are not just bad apples. They’re failure of systems (and) failure of controls,” he said.

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