Today in the Estimates Committee hearings, it was revealed by the Chief Minister’s officials that Icon Water gave a contract worth about $300 million without a tender process or expressions of interest, Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe said today.

“Rather than use the government’s own in-house Shared Services provider, Icon Water have given an extraordinary 11 year contract worth $27 million a year to ActewAGL,” Mr Coe said.

“Other government agencies, such as Health, Education, Treasury and the Legislative Assembly use the ACT Government’s in-house provider.

“For some reason, Icon Water has given a sweetheart deal to the private company, ActewAGL rather than use the in-house services.

“The extraordinary cost of $27 million per year is for ICT help desk, HR services and accounts payable.

“The agreements are not available online and they are not published on the contracts website.

“There are serious questions about the integrity of this $300 million expenditure:

  1. What governance arrangements were in place for committing to $300 million of taxpayers’ money?
  2. Did anyone gain a performance bonus or incentive for signing this deal?
  3. Who negotiated the contracts?
  4. Why didn’t Icon Water use the same in-house shared services that other government agencies use?
  5. What reporting of the contract exists?
  6. Why are the contracts not published on the ACT Government contracts register?
  7. When did Andrew Barr as Treasurer find out about this deal?

“In addition to publishing the contracts, Andrew Barr must answer the above questions,” Mr Coe concluded.