Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1407..
responded to the matter by saying, "The only thing the government is interested in is price—as long as you're cheap, you get the job."Attorney-General, given the Work Safety Commissioner reportedly said it was Kenoss Contractors' "systems of work that are not working more than specific hazards", what due diligence did the government undertake before employing Kenoss, particularly regarding its safety systems and culture?
MR CORBELL: I am not responsible for procurement decisions in relation to that contract, so I think Ms Hunter has asked the wrong minister. But what I would say is that the government does not simply select tenders on the basis of price.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question.
MS HUNTER: Minister, how much weight does the government give to the safety and employment practices of contractors before contracting them on government projects, and how much is given to price?
MR BARR: I have responsibility for procurement through the Shared Services Procurement agency. There are of course a number of criteria that are applied in relation to selecting successful tenderers. It is worth noting that there is a prequalification process as well so as to ensure that those who are on panels and who are bidding for works meet certain standards. Safety is not something that should be compromised on and it is important that there is an efficient regulatory regime in place. I think what we have seen in relation to these incidents is that regime working effectively.
In relation to procurement in the future it is important to note that the track record of organisations is indeed part of both the prequalification process and assessments in relation to future winning bids.
MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.
MS BRESNAN: To the responsible minister, can you table a list of the recent large construction tenders, noting which of the winning companies were also the companies offering the cheapest price?
MR BARR: Some of that information would be available publicly on the procurement website. As to elements that are not available publicly, I will seek advice as to whether I am able to table them.
MS LE COUTEUR: Supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: Again to the relevant minister: on how many sites in Canberra does the government currently contract Kenoss Contractors, and have all these sites been recently inspected?