Page 1719 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022
for CIT’s $8.87 million worth of contracts with one individual. The contracts also look like they were designed so that he would come out as the preferred tenderer. Minister, will you be looking into this series of CIT procurements to see whether the processes were biased?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. I have asked the CIT board to provide me with further detailed information about the nature of this contract. I will be having discussions, following that, about anything that arises, based on the information that is provided to me. If the information is concerning, then of course I will escalate that.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, can you assure Canberrans that ACT government agencies do not routinely ignore Government Procurement Board advice and arrange tender processes so that they can hire the contractors that they want?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. That information about the Government Procurement Board advice is not something that ministers get involved with in terms of procurement. It is an arm’s-length process. I am not involved directly in this procurement or indeed in other procurements, as is appropriate under probity guidelines. We are just not involved in that process. But I will be asking questions of the CIT board in relation to this particular contract which has been published on the contracts register.
MS LEE: Minister, what responsibility do you take, in addition to ensuring that processes are followed, for the culture that is permeating, to ensure that the procurement processes do not continue to be a problem?
MR STEEL: We have a procurement reform project underway. That follows a review of Procurement ACT that was undertaken last year. The recommendations of that review will be implemented, together with any findings from recent Auditor-General’s reports, to improve the transparency, the probity, of our procurement processes, going forward. I look forward to updating the Assembly as that work continues.
DR PATERSON: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. Chief Minister, can you please update the Assembly on electricity prices in the ACT?
MR BARR: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. We are in the fortuitous position of being the only state or territory in the national electricity market where regulated electricity tariffs will decline in the coming fiscal year. ACT electricity prices will decrease in nominal terms by 1.25 per cent, and the real decrease will be closer to five per cent—4.93 per cent—when accounting for current levels of inflation. This means that an average household will save around $23, and an average business around $88. This comes at a time when other jurisdictions in the national electricity market will be seeing increases in the double digits, which will mean hundreds, and potentially thousands, of dollars in increased costs for households and businesses respectively.