The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) says charges have been laid over an airport bribery scandal.  

A former Western Sydney Airport (WSA) employee is currently facing charges for allegedly soliciting a $200,000 bribe in exchange for awarding a service contract valued at approximately $5 million. 

This development follows an investigation jointly conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the NACC, which led to the individual's arrest on March 27.

Under scrutiny for soliciting a corrupt commission, as outlined in section 249B of the Crimes Act 1900, the accused has been granted bail and is scheduled to appear before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on April 18.

This case marks a pivotal moment for the NACC, shedding light on the commission's operational dynamics and its discretion in publicising investigations. 

The NACC says it has taken a nuanced approach towards public disclosures, indicating that criminal referrals are published depending on the investigation's stage and the nature of the findings.

Commissioner Paul Brereton's decision to publicise this charge is seen as a strategic move, aiming to deter corrupt practices within procurement processes. 

According to a NACC press release, procurement decisions have constituted a significant portion of the referrals received by the commission, which now stands at 2,711 since its inception.

The government-owned Western Sydney Airport has been acknowledged for its prompt action in referring the matter to the NACC and the AFP, a gesture that has been pivotal to the investigation's progression. 

This charge is part of a broader effort by the NACC, which has inherited several cases from the former Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and currently has 15 corruption investigations underway, including 5 joint investigations.