Revelation: Details have emerged about The Reserve Bank’s alleged participation in top-secret “Project Delta”. Photo: AFP

Project Delta was never made public because Mr Bethwaite and other NPA directors kept it secret in 1998, and again in 2009, when the corruption allegations involving NPA and Securency were aired in the media. Rather than stopping all high-risk business practices when Project Delta was wound down, NPA and Securency directors embraced bribery-prone activities, including paying foreign agents huge sums in return for their convincing overseas officials to award contracts to the Reserve’s banknote companies.

"Brian Hood has publicly challenged RBA governor Glenn Stevens' parliamentary testimony". Photo: Rob Homer

“Brian Hood has publicly challenged RBA governor Glenn Stevens’ parliamentary testimony”. Photo: Rob Homer

But the federal police and ASIC have never investigated the former directors of the two firms, including the long-standing chairman and former Reserve deputy governor Graeme Thompson, for overseeing these high-risk practices.

ASIC has not interviewed a single witness or suspect since it decided last year not to conduct a formal inquiry. ASIC made the decision after reviewing documents gathered by the federal police probe, despite the fact that the AFP bribery inquiry never investigated directors for alleged corporate offences.

In his first public interview, former NPA company secretary Brian Hood alleges that not only did some former directors allow highly risky business practices to occur, they covered up suspected corruption.

Mr Hood also revealed that Mr Thompson and other directors, including Mr Bethwaite and former RBA board member Dick Warburton, agreed to conceal from Nepali authorities the secret commissions NPA had paid to an agent in Nepal in return for his help winning polymer banknote contracts.

“The inaction by ASIC has been astounding. The parent organisation [the Reserve Bank] and the boards of directors have all got their responsibilities. Clearly there has been failings … and they should be investigated,” said Mr Hood, who was the NPA’s company secretary between 2004 and 2008.

The Reserve Bank still owns all of NPA but sold its half share in Securency this year. The RBA, Mr Thompson, Mr Bethwaite and Mr Warburton declined to answer questions.