Page 2414 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 August 2017
(f) that the shared services agreements between Icon Water and ActewAGL valued at nearly $300 million over 11 years were only revealed and scrutinised publicly after the Canberra Liberals uncovered the existence of the agreements in the course of the estimates process;
(g) that Icon Water admits it did not take the contract out to tender or ask for expressions of interest; that Icon Water has asserted it did not have an obligation to take the agreements to market; that the agreements have not been reviewed by the Government; and that Icon Water has declined to provide answers to fundamental questions about the agreements based on the content being commercial-in-confidence;
(h) that the Territory through its directorates, agencies and authorities, regularly enters into and reports on contracts with terms that are commercial-in-confidence, and is able to both proactively publish and specifically provide information upon request; and
(i) that while some terms of the agreements between Icon Water and third parties may be commercial-in-confidence, the existence of such contracts are not; and
(2) calls on the Government to table the Customer Services and Community Support Agreement, and the Corporate Services Agreement between Icon Water and ActewAGL for public scrutiny.
I thank the Assembly for its indulgence in the suspension of standing orders. In the agreements that are the subject of this notice we have found another example of a lack of transparency, accountability and integrity—another example of the backroom deals that I think contravene best practice in procurement policy and principles. It is another example of turning a blind eye to what should be best practice from this government and the entities that it owns.
During estimates, the Canberra Liberals uncovered the existence of two shared services arrangements between Icon Water and ActewAGL. These contracts, valued at around $300 million, were entered into without expressions of interest, without putting the contracts to tender and without market testing. They were entered into without financial penalty for underperformance and non-performance, without adhering to the normal procurement protocols and without any kind of government or internal scrutiny.
The government could have scrutinised these agreements in 2011 but, unfortunately, they failed to do so and we are all paying the price. ACTEW Corporation, now Icon Water, notified the Labor government on 23 September 2011, advising that a review was underway to reintegrate the water and sewage business into ACTEW Corporation. The minutes from the ACTEW Corporation board meeting on 19 September 2011 indicated that the corporate services provided by ActewAGL since 2001 would continue under these new agreements.