Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 23 October 1997
Page: 8026

(Question No. 818)


Senator Faulkner asked the Minister for the Environment, upon notice, on 3 September 1997:

(1) What contracts for public relations services has the department, or its agencies, signed since 3 March 1996.

(2) What was the value of each contract.

(3) Did the value of any contract vary from the original cost; if so, what was the reason for the price variation.

(4) How many of the contracts in (1) were awarded following an open tender process.

(5) Where there was no tender process, what assessment criteria were followed in selecting the

contractor and why was the normal practice of calling tenders not followed.

(6) Did the department seek guidance from the Office of Government Information and Advertising before signing the above contracts; if not, why not.

(7) How many journalists were employed by the department as at 3 March 1996.

(8) How many journalists are currently employed by the department.

   Senator Hill—The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1)—(6)

Environment Priorities and Coordination Group

(1) Contract(2) Value(3) Price Variation(4) & (5) Tender Process(6) OGIA Guidance sought
Environment Priorities and Coordination Group
Production of a Non English Speaking Brochure and Speakers Kit—`Communications Overload', May 1996. Aim: to produce a NESB Kit to promote the 1996 SoE Report to ethnic and indigenous sectors of the community; to produce a speakers kit with speakers notes and associated overheads to use in oral presentations for promoting the 1996 SoE Report.$20,200Yes. $18,240; paid out less due to reduced delivery of expected outcomesSelective tender process which involved inviting three service providers to submit quotes for the project.No. The contract did not fall within the role of OGIA.
Australian and World Heritage Group
Ms Louisa Eastmead—consultancy to research and promote the National Estate to electronic media programs, signed 25 June 1996.$19,530The original contract was for $24,530 but was terminated prior to the completion of the consultancy as Ms Eastmead was offered a permanent position in the Australian Public Service.As is usual practice for this type of consultancy requiring assistance on specific projects from a single public affairs officer, the contract was awarded after seeking requests for proposals from individuals listed with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Freelance Register, and to other freelance public affairs officers with proven ability. Proposals were based on a brief provided to contractors outlining requirements of the consultancy. Briefs were sent to three or more people.No. It has not been usual practice to seek advice from OGIA for individual public affairs officer contracts at this level.
Ms Eleanor Dean—consultancy to promote National Estate publicity signed 13 May 1997.$18,745The original contract was for $19,256 followed by a variation for an additional $10,696. This was due to increased work load on various projects. The contract was terminated prior to completion of the consultancy as Ms Dean was offered a permanent position in the Australian Public Service.As above.As above.
Environment Protection Group
Organochlorine pesticides—Logistical support for public involvement program in organochlorine pesticides. Contract with Public Relations Partners, Sydney. The program organised by the Waste Management Secretariat was to arrange public meetings to ensure public input into a management plan in support of an ANZECC program.$15,045 (used ANZECC Trust Fund money)No.Limited tender. A previous competitive tender on the subject had identified the company as the most suitable and cost effective for the task. The company was invited to tender for the work from a detailed brief as their expertise was proven and urgent timelines were operating. All normal clearance procedures through the department's tender board were followed.No. Contract did not fall within the role of OGIA.
Biodiversity Group
Acme Consulting Pty Ltd. Communications strategy development and implementation for Sustainable Landscapes Branch.$17,750Yes, due to a variation on requirements. The original contract was $19,250.Selective tender process.No. The contract did not fall within the role of OGIA.
Elizabeth Bilney. Contracted on ad hoc basis to write articles for publications promoting sustainable agriculture.$7,145No.Initial selective tender process, then ad hoc commissioning based on competitive quote. The amount involved was not substantial enough to warrant tender process.No. The contract did not fall within the role of OGIA.
Allen Mawer. Contracted on ad hoc basis to write articles for Sustainable Agriculture, a supplement to the Australian Farming Journal subsidised in part by Sustainable Landscapes Branch.$893No.No. Ad hoc commissioning based on competitive quote. The amount involved was not substantial enough to warrant tender process.No. Does not fall within the role of OGIA.
Portfolio Marine Group
Landcare Australia Limited (LAL)—to conduct Coastcare Sponsorships and Awareness Marketing.$300,000No.No. LAL was selected without calling for tenders because of its link with the National Landcare Program and the requirement to link public awareness of Landcare with oastcare.Yes, in the first year of the contract but not in the following years as the project was ongoing.
The Big Picture Marketing Communications—consultant expenses associated with Coasts and Clean Seas launch.$1,596No.No. On contract with the Department of Primary Industries and Energy.No, as the contract was for a small amount.
Corporate Management
Australian Public Strategies Pty Ltd, for speechwriting services.$75,000Contract still in progress.A selective tender process was used given the specialised nature of the consultancy and a number of quotes were sought. The Department's Procurement Review Board approved this process.No. The contract did not fall within the role of OGIA.
Sport, Territories and Local Government
Grey O'Keefe and Associates—Identification of potential sponsors for the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government.$10,000No.Selective tender process.Yes.
Australian Sports Drug Agency
The Australian Sports Drug Agency is developing its strategic plan for the period 1998-2001. As part of this activity, the Agency has commissioned Ingrid Roepers Public Relations to assist in developing its public relations strategy to fit within the strategic plan framework.$15,000No.Open tender process. No. The Agency was not seeking to deal with a sensitive issue and the contract was not considered substantial.

(7) As at 3 March 1996 the following journalists were employed:

Department: 13 Public Affairs Officers; Australian Heritage Commission: six journalists; Bureau of Meteorology: one journalist; Australian Sports Commission: three journalists.

(8) The following journalists are currently employed:

Department: 12 Public Affairs Officers; Australian Heritage Commission: six journalists; Bureau of Meteorology: one journalist; Australian Sports Commission: four journalists.