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Monday, 26 May 1997
Page: 4081

(Question No. 1585)

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel, upon notice, on 26 March 1997:

(1) In relation to the catering contracts at (a) RAAF Base Williamtown, (b) RAAF Base Sale, (c) Puckapunyal and (d) the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, what is the (i) size and (ii) period of each contract.

(2) Is she able to make publicly available other details of the nature of the contracts.

(3) Was the Serco company a successful tenderer for a contract; if so, has it and other successful tenderers received a government subsidy through the employment of staff on labour market programs.

Mrs Bishop —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) RAAF Williamtown does not have a catering contract. However, Serco does have a current contract to provide domestic services for cleaning, garbage removal and grass cutting.

(b) (i) Catering at East Sale is one of eight components in the overall contract for support services at the Base, which has a contract price of $5.9m per annum. The contract price, for the catering component only, is $1.4m, which does not include a component for administrative overheads. The actual expenditure for the first nine months of the contract from June 1996 to February 1997 inclusive, was $1.018m.

(ii) 1 June 1996 to 31 May 2002. The Commonwealth has options to extend the contract for a maximum further four years.

(c) (i) The Commercial Support Program at Puckapunyal is for base support and covers functions such as grounds maintenance, security and cleaning as well as catering. The original total estimated contract commitment was $77.2m. The current estimated contract commitment is $87.03m, of which the actual costs for the catering activity was $2.5m in FY 1994/95,

$4.3m FY 1995/96 and estimated at $2.8m for FY 1996/97. The fluctuations are a consequence of changes in dependency at the unit.

(ii) 15 March 1994 to 15 March 1999.

(d) (i) The contract at the Australian Defence Force Academy is for approximately $4.9m per annum.

(ii) Initially the contract was from July 1993 to July 1997. It has since been extended to July 1999.

(2) Information relating to support services contracts for RAAF Sale, Puckapunyal and the Australian Defence Force Academy, regarding the statement of requirement, the request to quote, successful tenderer and contract value, has been published in the Commonwealth Purchasing and Disposal Gazette. I regret that further information relating to the commercial-in-confidence aspects of the contractor's price and delivery schedule, and staffing levels provided in competition with other tenderers, cannot be released.

(3) Serco Gardner Merchant Pty Ltd was the successful tenderer for the RAAF Sale and Puckapunyal catering contracts, while Spotless Catering Services was the successful tenderer at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The Department of Defence is not aware of any labour market program subsidies provided to the company in respect of RAAF Sale or Puckapunyal. The contractor at the Australian Defence Force Academy utilised the `Jobstart Program' in November 1995.