In Assembly Estimates this morning, the ACT government failed to justify why it entered into a $300 million contract without a tender process or expressions of interest, Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe said today.
The Estimates Committee took the extraordinary step of recalling the Minister and officials from Icon Water, a body wholly owned by the ACT Government, to answer questions about the contract.
“Rather than use the government’s own in-house Shared Services provider, Icon Water has given an 11 year contract to ActewAGL,” Mr Coe said.
“For some reason, Icon Water has given a sweetheart deal to the private company, ActewAGL rather than use the in-house services.
“In the recall hearing this morning, the Minister and officials:
Refused to say if bonuses were paid to senior staff responsible for the deal
Refused to release the agreements
Confirmed the contract was not audited
Confirmed there are no financial penalties for non-performance or under performance
Confirmed no market testing was undertaken before entering into the contract
Confirmed no analysis has been done to show whether the contract is delivering value for money to the people of Canberra
Confirmed the cost of this contract is part of the massive increase to water prices
“The government has bypassed usual processes to enter into a huge contract without tendering.
“I call again on the government to make the two agreements public.
“Yet again the government’s secret deals are costing Canberrans,” Mr Coe concluded.