A PUBLIC servant who was responsible for WA’s abandoned mines used her position to award contracts to her boyfriend’s company, the Corruption and Crime Commission has revealed.
The CCC report reveals how Sarah Bellamy authorised payments of more than $24,000 for work that had not been carried out, and took confidential documents to the owner of the Soil Water Group.
The ‘Serious misconduct in procurement of environmental services’ report, details that Ms Bellamy developed the Abandoned Mines Program and was involved in the procurement of services and authorising payments for consultants.
She then started a romantic relationship with the owner of Soil Water Group and became involved with the business while still employed as a public servant, the CCC report states.
Ms Bellamy, who could authorise expenditure of up to $10,000, arranged for Soil Water Group to provide services and authorised payments for work that had not been carried out.
The report says Ms Bellamy did not declare either conflict to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and, when questioned, gave misleading information and concealed her personal relationship.
She left the Department in 2017, but not before she’d taken confidential documents and emailed ministerial correspondence and briefing notes to the Soil Water Group.
At one stage, as Ms Bellamy prepared for her departure, she received a text message saying ‘Hi Love, how’s the afternoon going and the rape and pillage of data for your own personal benefit?’ – concluding with a love heart emoji.
Her response was short but clear, ‘I am copying contacts as we speak.’
“The commission formed an opinion that Ms Bellamy had acted corruptly and engaged in serious misconduct on at least three occasions when she procured or attempted to procure the payment of invoices to Soil Water Group totalling more than $24,000 and disclosed confidential information,” the CCC said in a statement.
“Her behaviour shows the need for ongoing vigilance and oversight of procurement, even when relatively low amounts are involved. It also shows the need for an early disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. Had there been an early disclosure, the problem may not have escalated.”
Ms Bellamy’s LinkedIn profile says she is currently employed as the principal for policy and regulatory approval at the Soil Water Group.