The West

A family network of Department of Housing bureaucrats securing contracts for a relative has been detailed in a report calling for increased scrutiny of procurement in "close community" regional areas.

The confidential investigation by auditors KPMG triggered the resignation of Pilbara regional manager Joanne Gordon after her brother Alan Porritt reaped $112,500 in fencing maintenance contracts in a year.

Neither disclosed their family connection in accordance with department rules, KPMG found.

The seven-month probe was completed in September 2011 before a long review by the Corruption and Crime Commission was completed a year later.

Details can be revealed for the first time after _The West Australian _obtained the KPMG report under freedom of information laws.

Ms Gordon was found to have breached departmental policy by negotiating a major fencing contract for Mr Porritt on South Hedland's urban renewal project.

Two other Pilbara office employees - Ms Gordon's daughter Kimberley Gordon and Mr Porritt's wife Jean Porritt - also failed to declare their relationships with him, according to KPMG.

Mrs Porritt, a maintenance officer, was found to have issued work to her husband's company A&K Fencing while signing off as a contractor herself on eight work orders.

Kimberley Gordon, a customer service officer, was also found to have issued work to her uncle and approved expenditure outside original job orders. In all, A&K Fencing was awarded 78 job orders in the year to January 2011 and in all but two cases no quotes from competitors were sought.

Ms Gordon and Mrs Porritt resigned soon after the investigation began but Kimberley Gordon remains with the department.

Department human resources manager Dennis Taafe said KPMG had found "no evidence of intent to defraud".

The CCC said it was not possible to test disciplinary allegations against Joanne Gordon because she had resigned and KPMG found no evidence of criminal offences.

The West Australian

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