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Monday, 23 May 2005
Page: 146


Mr Quick asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, in writing, on 8 February 2005:

(1)   Has the Australian Broadcasting Commission issued a tender for the provision of air travel services; if so, when does it close.

(2)   Does the tender specifically ask tenderers to provide details of Chairman’s Lounge membership free of charge; if so, will Regional Express, Virgin Blue and other domestic carriers which do not normally offer Chairman’s Lounge membership be penalised for not offering it.

(3)   Does the tender specifically ask tenderers to provide details of upgrades to other classes of travel; if so, will Regional Express, Virgin Blue and other domestic carriers which normally offer only one class of travel be penalised for not offering upgrades to other classes of travel.

(4)   Will the ABC withdraw its current tender and remove any reference to those aspects of which favour one airline before reissuing it; if not, why not.

(5)   For the financial years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, what sum was spent on (a) domestic airline travel, and (b) international airline travel by (i) employees of the ABC, (ii) members of the Board of the ABC, and (iii) ABC contractors.

(6)   For the financial years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, what sum was spent on domestic airline travel on (a) Regional Express, (b) Qantas, and (c) Virgin Blue by (i) employees of the ABC, (ii) members of the Board of the ABC, and (iii) ABC contractors.

(7)   For the years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, how many memberships of the (a) Chairman’s Lounge, (b) Qantas Club, (c) Regional Express Club, and (d) Virgin Blue Room, that were paid for by the ABC, were held by (i) employees of the ABC, (ii) members of the Board of the ABC, and (iii) ABC contractors.

(8)   In respect of each membership in part (7), what was the cost to the ABC of the membership and who received it.


Mr McGauran (Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs) —The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

The ABC has provided the following advice:

(1)   Yes. The request for tender (RFT) was advertised on 13 November 2004 and closed on 10 December 2004.

(2)   The RFT asks whether the Chairman’s Lounge membership will be provided free of charge. No tenderer will be penalised for not offering this membership.

(3)   The RFT specifically asks tenderers to provide details of upgrades to other classes of travel if no seats are available. No tenderer will be penalised if offering only one class of travel.

(4)   There is no aspect of the RFT which favours one airline above another. The ABC will therefore not be withdrawing the RFT. (5)   (a)   Domestic airline travel

(5)  

(a)   Domestic airline travel

(i)   Employees of ABC =  $4,504,220 (2002-03); $3,564,132(2003-04)

(ii)   Members of the Board =  $108,587 (2002-03); $77,346 (2003-04)

(iii)   ABC contractors: these cost would be minimal however, the ABC does not capture them separately and they are included in the above Employee costs. 

(i)   Employees of ABC =  $2,356,738 (2002-03); $1,688,145 (2003-04)

(ii)   Members of the Board = $39,169 (2002-03); $31,138 (2003-04)

(iii)   ABC contractors: these costs would be minimal; however, the ABC does not capture them separately and they are included in the above Employee costs.

(b)  

   International airline travel

   (i) Employees of ABC =  $2,356,738 (2002-03); $1,688,145 (2003-04)

   (ii) Members of the Board = $39,169 (2002-03); $31,138 (2003-04)

   (iii) ABC contractors: these costs would be minimal; however, the ABC does not capture them separately and they are included in the above Employee costs.

(6)   The ABC is currently in a preferred airline and Travel Management Contract (TMC) with Qantas Business Travel. The ABC does not have records of the travel arranged through the TMC with other carriers. Consequently the figures for 2002-03 are not available. However, in preparation for the RFT, Qantas prepared for the ABC a breakdown by carrier of 2003-04 travel. From these figures, the ABC has calculated the following expenditure with Regional Express, Qantas and Virgin Blue, as shown below:

(a)  

   Regional Express

   (i) Employees of ABC = $51,992.

   (ii) Members of the Board = Nil.

   (iii) ABC contractors = these figures are included in Employee figures.

   (i) Employees of ABC = $3,226,828.

   (ii) Members of the Board = $77,346.

   (iii) ABC contractors = these figures are included in Employee figures.

   (i) Employees of ABC = $91,075.

   (ii) Members of the Board = Nil.

   (iii) ABC contractors = these figures are included in Employee figures.

   (i) 264 memberships for employees (2002-03); 179 memberships for employees (2003-04).

   (ii) Nil paid memberships for members of the Board.

   (iii) ABC Contractors: 2 memberships in 2002-03; 1 membership in 2003-04.

(b)  

   Qantas

   (i) Employees of ABC = $3,226,828.

   (ii) Members of the Board = $77,346.

   (iii) ABC contractors = these figures are included in Employee figures.

   (i) Employees of ABC = $91,075.

   (ii) Members of the Board = Nil.

   (iii) ABC contractors = these figures are included in Employee figures.

   (i) 264 memberships for employees (2002-03); 179 memberships for employees (2003-04).

   (ii) Nil paid memberships for members of the Board.

   (iii) ABC Contractors: 2 memberships in 2002-03; 1 membership in 2003-04.

(c)  

   Virgin Blue

   (i) Employees of ABC = $91,075.

   (ii) Members of the Board = Nil.

   (iii) ABC contractors = these figures are included in Employee figures.

   (i) 264 memberships for employees (2002-03); 179 memberships for employees (2003-04).

   (ii) Nil paid memberships for members of the Board.

   (iii) ABC Contractors: 2 memberships in 2002-03; 1 membership in 2003-04.

(7)  

(a)   Chairman’s Lounge: Nil 2002-03 and 2003-04.

(i)   264 memberships for employees (2002-03); 179 memberships for employees (2003-04).

(ii)   Nil paid memberships for members of the Board.

(iii)   ABC Contractors: 2 memberships in 2002-03; 1 membership in 2003-04.

(b)  

   Qantas Club:

   (i) 264 memberships for employees (2002-03); 179 memberships for employees (2003-04).

   (ii) Nil paid memberships for members of the Board.

   (iii) ABC Contractors: 2 memberships in 2002-03; 1 membership in 2003-04.

(c)  

   Regional Express Club:  Nil in 2002-03 and 2003-04.

(d)  

   Virgin Blue Room: Nil in 2002-03 and 2003-04.

(8)   In 2002-03, the ABC paid for 266 Qantas Club memberships at a total cost of $53,828, as follows:

Division

Number

Board Secretariat

1

State & Territory Directors

3

Enterprises

8

News & Current Affairs

41

Corporate Affairs

6

Business Services

21

New Media

12

HR

19

T & D

25

Radio

46

Production Resources

21

Asia Pacific

1

TV

59

Contractors

2

Total

266

        In 2003-04, ABC paid for 180 Qantas Club memberships at a total cost of $36,630, as follows:

Division

Number

Board Secretariat

1

MD’s Office

1

Corporate Affairs

2

State Director

4

Enterprises

8

Production Resources

9

New Media

13

News & Current Affairs

14

Business Services

17

HR

18

T & D

25

TV

31

Radio

36

Contractors

1

 Total

180