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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 8 June 2017) . . Page.. 2123 ..

It has ensured that dodgy businesses are not winning ACT government contracts.

Despite the MOU, the media has reported on a series of “dodgy businesses” engaged by the ACT government. Chief Minister, can you explain specifically how the MOU is preventing “dodgy businesses” from being awarded contracts by the ACT government?

MR BARR: During the procurement process, via early engagement with key stakeholders and examination of the history of various companies and the history of various individuals who are the principals of various companies, that greater exposure, particularly earlier on, acts as an important safeguard against phoenix companies, and those that have a very poor track record in other jurisdictions and here in the ACT, who close a particular business and then re-emerge with a new name but largely the same people behind the business.

Whilst no system is absolutely perfect, there is an added benefit of more sets of eyes on the procurement process through the early engagement with key stakeholders, and not just with unions but also with various industry association peak bodies. I note that those peak bodies seem to take up the opportunity of that engagement in the procurement process far more than their union counterparts, and I note also that from time to time those opposite take an interest in procurement policies and particular individual procurements; and sometimes I wonder why. Later, I find out.

MR WALL: Chief Minister, are you aware of any “dodgy businesses” that were prevented from being awarded a contract or contracting to do work for the ACT government because of the MOU?

MR BARR: I think that when this matter was canvassed, at great length I must say, during both estimates and annual reports hearings, the relevant procurement officials went through in some detail with Mr Wall and some of his other colleagues the process under which they engage with stakeholder groups and the outcomes of that engagement.

I certainly recall the head of procurement giving a definitive answer in relation to Mr Wall’s question. He should perhaps check the record in relation to what the official said because, as Mr Wall would be aware, I do not have a personal role in procurement decisions. Ministers do not and that is a very good public policy position.

MS LEE: Chief Minister, what are the performance measures used to determine whether the MOU is delivering its purported benefits?

MR BARR: The government seeks to work constructively with a range of stakeholders across a range of areas as they relate to procurement policy, to workplace safety issues and to other areas where the government is a procurer of goods and services. There are many different measures. Those are outlined in annual reports and in the budget papers each year. A key measure of recent great interest to the broader community has been significant improvement in policies that can ensure ongoing

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