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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 43..

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, after question time I am sure we would allow Mr Stanhope to get up and state the Labor Party's position on this and whether they believe the Federal Government should override the Northern Territory's legislation in this area. I am confident we would give him leave to do so if he chose to. Mr Speaker, members on this side of the house do not believe that these sorts of powers should be used. I do not believe that this particular circumstance is one that would be of such national moment as to support the Federal Government taking away the democratic rights of the Northern Territory or, for that matter, the ACT.

Information Technology - ACT Government Contracts

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister confirm that IT recruitment companies supplying contractors to InTACT have been forced to hand over the management of their contractors, and thus their ability to earn their income, to a new sole supplier, Interim Technology Associates? Can she confirm that, as a result, these companies have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in recruitment fees?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, what happened is that InTACT went out to tender, as is appropriate. There was a public tender approach. A number of contracts were up for tender. That tender process was followed appropriately and Interim Technology won those tenders. I am wondering whether Mr Corbell believes that the Government should interfere in a tender process. I would have to say that this side of the house does not.

Mr Berry: You have before.

Mr Stanhope: You have done it plenty of times.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Corbell, do you have a supplementary question?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, does the Chief Minister agree that the arrangement between InTACT and Interim Technology Associates is most unusual in that most other large IT providers have a range of contractors to supply them with consultants? Is she aware of complaints raised in the Australian newspaper of 8 February by some IT recruitment companies that were bullied or coerced into surrendering contractors on their books? What does this say about the ACT Government's approach in supporting small local business?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, what this side of the house supports is an appropriate and open tender process in line with agreements between States and the Constitution as well.

Mr Hird: Hear, hear!

MS CARNELL: What that means is that no State - - -

Mr Berry: Remember the hospital implosion?

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