Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3511 ..
In estimates a few weeks ago a representative of Icon and the minister said that in a boost to transparency they have now put the contracts up on their website. I note that the contracts that have been put up on the website are simply the ones that were provided to me under freedom of information. So rather than being this benevolent gesture, it is quite the opposite. They were forced to provide it by FOI and only then did they publish them on the website.
I do not know whether anybody in this place had a look at these contracts, but Mr Rattenbury might care to have a glance because even the contents page and the title page have redactions: agreed terms, part A, definitions and interpretation, priority of contract documents, condition precedent, duration of contract. What are 5, 6 and 7? This is the title page. We are not talking about the actual details here; we are talking about the contents page of a contract.
Part A, 5 ,6 and 7—not there; Part B, 12 and 13—not there; 17—not there; 19—not there; 22, general requirements—not there; 29, 30, 31, 32, 33—not there; schedule 3—not there. I am not talking about the whole paragraphs or the whole sections; I am talking about the titles. The titles of those sections are apparently not fit for Canberrans to know about. It is shonky.
This is meant to be a wholly owned ACT government asset. This is meant to be the taxpayers’ water department. Instead, we have a shonky setup where they do not want us to know not just the value of these contracts—only reluctantly did they tell us that—but they do not even want us to know how the contracts are being delivered and what they are for.
The exclusions I read were to the customer services and community support agreement. There is also the corporate services agreement. And, again, the redactions are many: 5, 6, 7, 11, 12; it goes on and on. When you get into the actual deliverables it is riddled with redactions. Entire pages are blacked out. Page 33, half blacked out; all of 34, blacked out; half of 35, blacked out; half of 36, blacked out; all of 37; all of 38; all of 39; most of 40; it goes on and on.
This is meant to be a government about transparency and openness, yet its 100 per cent owned water operation cannot even publish a contract in full. I think it is very shonky, and I very much hope that Mr Rattenbury sees fit that the taxpayers who are paying for this should at least see what they are getting as part of the contract.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (11.02): The government will not oppose this motion this morning, but the Assembly needs to note a number of important points. Firstly, the documents being requested are not documents the executive holds. They are not documents created by the executive or owned by the executive, which is what standing order 213A generally refers to. The documents in question are contracts between Icon Water and ActewAGL relating to commercial matters of service provision.