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