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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (4 August) . . Page.. 3419..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

procurement thresholds for work project managed by them on behalf of the department of education, public tender processes were undertaken.

With respect to repairs and maintenance activity under the direct management of the department dating back to 1998, I have sought further advice in relation to the legality of its engagement of the then Totalcare Industries as the department's contract management agent and specifically whether the requirements of the Government Procurement Act were met in full, going right back to 1998. I will be provided with that information.

In relation to the specific case referred to by Mr Cornwell, there was a competitive tender process which was publicly advertised in September 2002. Totalcare won the work following an evaluation in accordance with the procurement plan that had been previously endorsed by an approved procurement unit.

For the information of Mrs Burke and others, the Government Procurement (Quotation and Tender Thresholds) Guideline 2003 requires that procurements valued above $100,000 be put out to tender. This guideline replaced the November 2000 guideline, which provided that construction-related procurements over $50,000 were required to be advertised in the local press and for procurements between $5,000 and $20,000, only one local quote was needed to be obtained.

In relation to the specific matters raised by Mr Cornwell, Totalcare did not get any preference but won the work in a competitive tender. The work on the school canteens at Hawker, Aranda, Ainslie and Hughes primary schools was undertaken as part of the 2002-03 minor new works program for which funding was provided in the 2002 ACT budget.

In accordance with normal practice, on completion a defects report was prepared for each project. This is normal building practice prior to accepting the work from the contractor. The total number of defects recorded was 60 and they were distributed across the four canteen upgrade projects. The defects noted were minor in nature and amounted to noting a requirement to clean up after the works and to re-key locks to fit the school system.

The OH&S items were also minor and were noted to ensure compliance with the Building Code of Australia and food preparation regulations. They did not present any immediate danger to staff, students or the community. Also, in accordance with normal practice, all defects are the responsibility of the relevant contractor or subcontractor to complete at his expense within the defects liability period. The defects were corrected at no expense to the territory.

In accordance with normal practice for territory projects, the work had a 12-month defects liability period. I have been advised that the defects that were identified at the handover inspection were subsequently fixed and no other defects were identified during the 12-month defects liability period. These projects were not unusual in terms of refurbishment work and the fact that defects lists and handover certificates were prepared and executed illustrates sound project management procedures by the department.

I am running out of time. Perhaps Mr Cornwell might ask a supplementary question to enable me to complete my answer.

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