Costello hits out at RBA

THE former federal treasurer Peter Costello says the Reserve Bank should have told him and police - instead of covering up - of a June 2007 memo detailing evidence of foreign bribery by one of its subsidiaries.

The Herald can also reveal that a senior federal police officer told a parliamentary committee earlier this month ''knowledge of the foreign bribery itself was made known to the Reserve Bank executive some years before the AFP actually received it''.

Following yesterday's report that the RBA covered up the memo from police and Parliament, Mr Costello has revealed that as treasurer he, too, was never told of corruption concerns by the Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens.

''Any agency of government that becomes aware of evidence of criminal activity has a duty to inform the relevant minister and to take the evidence - if it is credible - to the law enforcement authorities,'' Mr Costello writes in the Herald today.

The 2007 memo, sent to the then deputy governor Ric Battellino detailed alleged payment of bribes by agents working for the RBA subsidiaries Note Printing Australia and Securency. But the RBA did not tell police of these concerns until after the Herald exposed the corruption in 2009. Instead, it called in the law firm Freehills to investigate. The Freehills report, which the RBA won't release, apparently found no evidence of illegality.


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