Page 1765 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022
(b) specifically what will be delivered under the terms of this new contract, and what personnel will be involved in its delivery;
(c) what justification there is for such a large quantum of funding, at $4.99 million, being used for change management services of this nature and whether lower cost alternatives were considered;
(d) given CIT has been procuring change management services from this external consultant since 2018, why the Institute has not recruited an in-house adviser or team to undertake this work at less expense than ongoing external consultancies;
(e) what oversight the CIT Board has had of services delivered under the prior contracts, and how the board has assured itself that this expenditure represents ongoing value for money; and
(f) what assurance the Board can provide that the procurement process for this contract was conducted with the highest levels of probity and impartiality;
(3) submits the above information to the ACT Auditor-General and invites their review and further advice; and
(4) requests the Auditor-General advise the Speaker on whether they intend to pursue an inquiry into these contracts, with this information to be provided to all Members following receipt by the Speaker.”.
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.40): I would first like to thank the Leader of the Opposition for her motion, and I thank Minister Steel for the commitments he has made to the Assembly today on the question. No doubt the media reports this morning were concerning, and they would have raised an eyebrow not only of all members in this place but of everybody in the community who saw what would appear, at face value, to be, at best, a questionable allocation of funds through the CIT.
Of course, it is not for us in this place to determine a judgement on the veracity of those claims that have been in the media for less than 12 hours. It would be rightly placed for an independent third party, an arbiter, to determine what exactly has happened here and whether or not there are any decision-makers who have questions to answer. I do think it is important, though, to flag that in Minister Steel’s amendment to Ms Lee’s motion he has outlined some of the steps he has taken as minister—on behalf of the ACT Greens, I am very grateful for that—showing that, as soon as these issues became present in the media this morning, the minister and his office, quite proactively, it would appear, reached out to the CIT, through their board, almost immediately, seeking explanation and justification for some of the challenging media reports that we saw this morning.
As Minister Steel put to me in a conversation earlier, and as we have discussed previously in this place, it is not the place of the Assembly to direct or dictate the Auditor-General as to what they should or should not inquire into. Certainly, it is the strong view of the ACT Greens that this particular matter requires investigation by the Auditor-General. We would encourage the Auditor-General’s office to consider this issue as a matter of priority. Along with the minister, we look forward to the probity and those independent arbiters, those eyes, to give advice to government and to this