Page 1957 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2016

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Auditor-General Act, pursuant to section 21—Auditor-General’s Report No. 2/2016—Maintenance of Public Housing—Government response.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MS BERRY: Today I table the ACT government response to the Auditor-General’s report into the Auditor-General’s maintenance of public housing report No 2 of 2016. The ACT Auditor-General conducted an audit of the management of public housing maintenance activities as part of its approved 2015-16 audit program. The audit provides an independent opinion of the effectiveness of the Housing and Community Services management of the total facilities management contract with Spotless Facilities Services Pty Ltd for their delivery of public housing maintenance activities.

It is important to state at the outset that the ACT government is committed to providing the best possible accommodation and support to the 23,000 tenants and residents who live in over 11,500 public and community housing properties. This is why we welcome this audit and its suggestions.

Spotless was first awarded the total facilities management contract for housing in 2005, and subsequently awarded a second contract in 2012, on both occasions through open procurement process. In 2014-15 the public housing maintenance budget was $41.25 million and the management fee paid to Spotless was $6.94 million.

Over the five-year term of the current contract, total payments to Spotless are expected to reach $242 million, making it one of the government’s largest ongoing contracts. The audit focus was on timeliness, cost, and quality of planned and responsive maintenance carried out by Spotless and the effectiveness of governance and contract management arrangements that Housing and Community Services has in place.

The audit found that Housing and Community Services has positioned itself well to effectively manage the contract, particularly through the establishment of a sound governance framework and comprehensive performance management system. The audit also noted that the establishment of the committees to deal with both day-to-day administration and high-level oversight were in place, and that a contract management plan was current, providing guidance to staff in the management of the contract.

The audit confirmed that Housing and Community Services had established sound cost and price control arrangements and implemented processes for effectively managing payment to subcontractors. However, the audit did find that management of the contract was not fully effective, and the Auditor-General made 18 recommendations to further improve the management of the contract. The government has accepted all 18 recommendations and is well advanced in implementing actions to address these recommendations.

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