“I also provided Vivek an example about a conflict between Vivek and his relationship with Capgemini. Vivek raised his voice and shouted at me. Vivek thumped his fist into the table and yelled at me. Vivek said to me, ‘You are f…ing useless’, ‘you’re an investigator, go investigate’. I felt intimidated.”
Shoebridge continued, “At 10.15am 26 October 2016 I told GP [full name not disclosed] and MS [full name not disclosed] about this meeting with Vivek. I told them I felt intimidated and useless. GP told me that is the way Vivek treats all people.”
In one other extract, he says: “On 27 October 2016 I again met with GP and told him my concerns about my meeting with Vivek from 26 October 2016. My notes of that meeting read, ‘f…ing useless’, ‘you are a f…ing manager, a senior leader’, ‘is it corrupt because I know the owner of Capgemini and I use them?’ I said at the very least a conflict must be disclosed. I told GP this and he replied, ‘he won’t report it and he will bring in whoever he wants to work at icare’.”
The writer of the extract Chris McCann was the primary whistleblower at icare to find issues within the organisation and report them to senior administration. He was a former murder detective who earned valour awards and different commendations earlier than shifting to icare as a senior compliance officer.
“What did Mr McCann get for his troubles?” Shoebridge requested. “He got a workers’ compensation claim, he received appalling internal treatment, he was bullied out of the organisation and then wrapped up with a non‑disclosure agreement so that he could not tell anyone.”
McCann left icare in April 2018 and was identified with extreme despair and post-traumatic stress dysfunction.
Shoebridge went on to say, “This is an organisation that must be advised by this Parliament, ‘this isn’t your cash; you can’t deal with it as playthings. You can not give it to your spouse, you can’t give it your mates. You can not hand out public cash that’s meant to be going to injured staff to whoever you need as a result of they’re your mates.'”
In a press release Bhatia mentioned he categorically denied making any such feedback to McCann. “There was an impartial investigation into this problem that discovered the claims weren’t substantiated,” he mentioned.
Bhatia left icare in January 2018 to affix QBE because the chief govt of its Australian operations.
On August 7 this 12 months he left QBE to affix Link as its chief govt. The timing was fascinating because it got here lower than two weeks after a joint Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and ABC Four Corners investigation uncovered administration and solvency points at his former employer icare.
On Friday The Australian Financial Review‘s columnist Joe Aston wrote, “Link Group’s board is chaired by Michael Carapiet who, till subsequent Friday, can be chairman of icare… one other firm director, Peeyush Gupta, sits on the board of each Link Group and icare… and Bhatia advised an Indian neighborhood newspaper on July 30 that at icare, ‘Michael and Piyush [sic] grew to become mentors for all times for me’.”
Aston’s column prompted Link to problem a press release to the ASX informing shareholders that Link’s outgoing boss John McMurtrie, would now go away on November 1, as an alternative of early subsequent 12 months, and Bhatia would take over the reins on November 2.
But the ASX assertion mentioned McMurtrie would entrance Link’s annual common assembly on October 27, together with Carapiet and the remainder of the board, and had agreed to remain on as an adviser to the enterprise after his retirement.
It mentioned Bhatia’s early graduation at Link adopted an early launch from the discover interval with QBE, which itself has been topic to a scandal in latest weeks when its chief govt departed all of a sudden after an investigation regarding office communication didn’t meet the requirements set out within the firm’s code of ethics and conduct.
In latest weeks various corporations have come beneath the blowtorch for questionable conduct together with bullying, intimidation and discrimination. The approach issues are shaping up, there might be extra to come back.
Start the day with main tales, unique protection and knowledgeable opinion from our main enterprise journalists delivered to your inbox. Sign up for the Herald‘s right here and The Age‘s right here.
Adele Ferguson is a Gold Walkley Award successful investigative journalist. She reviews and feedback on corporations, markets and the financial system.