Page 1864 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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(1) In relation to the Skywhale, what investigations did the Government carry out regarding the normal commercial terms around purchasing and operating a special shape balloon and what were the findings.

(2) Why was Australia’s largest operator of special shape balloons not contracted for advice.

(3) What due diligence was conducted on Global Ballooning as to their suitability for owning, scheduling and operating the asset prior to transferring ownership to them and what were the findings.

(4) Did staff at Events ACT have any pre-existing relationships with Global Ballooning prior to awarding the contract to manage and own the Skywhale; if so, (a) what is the nature of these relationships and (b) were conflict of interest considerations applied.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) After consideration of various options for the ownership and management of a hot air balloon, including advice from the ACT Government Solicitor’s Office and conducting a risk and value for money assessment, it was agreed that ownership by a hot air balloon company was an appropriate way to reduce the risks associated with ongoing maintenance and operation.

Up to three staff from Procurement Shared Services were embedded in the Centenary of Canberra team to assist and manage its procurement activities, since November 2010. Informed by the ACT Government Solicitor’s Office advice, Procurement staff assisted in the development of a procurement plan that was endorsed and approved by all relevant delegates.

(2) A request for proposal for a feasibility study for design and manufacture of a balloon was sent to five companies with expertise in special shaped balloons.

Kavanagh Balloons

Cameron Balloons

Firefly Balloons

Ultramagic Balloons

Lindstand Hot Air Balloons Ltd

One submission was received, from Cameron Balloons. Cameron Balloons was engaged to provide a feasibility report, which determined the balloon shape was feasible.

Request for Proposal for commission and operation of the balloon was sent to three companies, targeting companies from south east Australia and based on consultation with stakeholder, local balloon enthusiasts and industry experts. Two submissions were received and assessed before Global Ballooning was determined successful. Global Ballooning manufactures the significant majority of specialised balloons across the world.

(3) Global Ballooning was assessed by the Centenary’s Tender Evaluation Team as having a clearly demonstrated capacity and experience with the operational elements of the Statement of Requirements issued for the balloon project. This demonstrated

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