Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1931..
MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question. I understand that the instructions to the Auditor-General are to devise a code of practice for these matters. It is not an inquiry into what happened with this particular tender. Given that this is $3m worth of government assets that are being disposed of, why did you not table the actual document? Will you give the Assembly an explanation for that? Why did you seek to mislead the Assembly on this matter?
MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I will answer that. First, I never will, and I never did, seek to mislead the Assembly. Secondly, if the former Chief Minister had sat back and listened to what was said, even today, she would have realised that the Auditor-General is going a step further than she believes he is going. I quote from the Auditor-General's response to Mrs Carnell, where he says:
In view of the publicity arising from the illustrative situation contained in your letter, I have arranged for one of my officers to review the procedures involved in the awarding of that contract.
I look forward to the Auditor-General's response in that review.
Mr Connolly: So he is looking into the facts of this case.
Mrs Carnell: He is looking at the facts of this case.
MR DE DOMENICO: Yes.
MR WOOD: My question is to Mr De Domenico and it is on the same subject. Can you explain to the Assembly why only seven auction houses were invited to tender for the disposal of those 15 taxi licences when there are many more listed in the Yellow Pages, and even more registered under the Auctioneers Act? Why was no general tender for the auction called, which would have allowed all auctioneers to bid for the work?
MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Wood for his question. Mr Wood would realise that eight companies decided to put in bids. I am advised, Mr Wood, that seven auctioneers were identified in the Canberra telephone directory as meeting the specified criteria and all seven were invited to tender. Invitations were issued by telephone on 27 September, seeking tenders at a flat rate. I am advised, Mr Wood, that all the auctioneers that the department deemed fit to tender were invited, and there happened to be seven of those. I am also advised that they did not have to go to the seven, but decided to go to the seven to make sure that they got the best possible tenders available.