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Notice given 14 September 2006

2490  Senator Carr: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the tender process for the supply of pandemic influenza packs:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that an officer of the department telephoned Mr Roger Bullen, a director of the company Crystal Healthcare, on 3 June 2005, regarding a tender that had been submitted by the company for the supply of 100 000 packs.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that this company submitted the tender in response to a request made by telephone to its director, Mr Roger Bullen, by an officer of the department on the previous day, 2 June 2005.

(3) Can the Minister confirm that this officer informed Mr Bullen by telephone on 2 June 2005 that the department had experienced a poor response from potential tenderers for this contract, and that this was a reason for inviting Crystal Healthcare to submit a tender.

(4) Was Crystal Healthcare informed by telephone by an officer of the department on 3 June 2005 that the company had been successful in its tender for the contract.

(5) Can the Minister confirm that the contract for which Crystal Healthcare submitted a tender was for 100 000 packs.

(6) Can the Minister confirm that the company was requested by this officer to begin work immediately and, as a matter of urgency, with an initial supply of 2 000 packs.

(7) (a) In making this request, did the department comply with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines and other relevant guidelines, regulations and required procedures; and (b) can references to the relevant guidelines, regulations and procedures, as set down, be provided.

(8) Did an officer from the department subsequently call Crystal Healthcare to correct an error in the department’s request for a quote regarding the total number of disposable gloves required for the 100 000 packs.

(9) Did a letter dated 6 June 2005 to Crystal Healthcare from the Acting Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity and Disease Control Branch, refer to an ‘initial order’ for 2 000 packs.

(10) Does the term ‘initial order’ imply that there would be a subsequent order or orders made; if not: (a) why was this term used in the letter; and (b) what was the term intended to mean.

(11) Given that Crystal Healthcare had submitted a tender for the supply of 100 000 packs, why did the letter from the Acting Assistant Secretary not refer to this tender, as well as to the quote for the initial supply of 2 000 packs.

(12) (a) When was the decision made to revise the requirements for the procurement of the packs, so that the procurement was to be done in two phases and by means of two separate contracts; and (b) why was this decision made.

(13) Was the revised contract for the balance of the packs, comprising of 98 000 packs, advertised; if so: (a) when; and (b) where was the contract advertised.

 

 (14) Did this revised contract include the requirement that the packs be stored in an Australian capital city; if not, what specification did the contract make regarding the storage of the packs.

(15) (a) When was the decision made to change the specification regarding storage of the packs; and (b) why was this decision made.

(16) Was this change made according to the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines in regards to informing all involved in the tender process of the change; if so, which relevant guideline or guidelines were referred to.

(17) When was the contract for 98 000 packs awarded to the American company Cleanroom Garments.

(18) When was Crystal Healthcare informed that Cleanroom Garments had been awarded the contract.

(19) (a) In informing Crystal Healthcare that Cleanroom Garments had been awarded the contract for 98 000 packs, did the department comply with the then-current Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines; (b) which relevant guideline or guidelines were complied with; and (c) in particular, did the department comply in this instance with guideline 7.25; if so, can an explanation be provided of how the department complied; if not, why not.

(20) (a) Did the tender process for the supply of the packs comply with all of the requirements set out in section 7 of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines regarding accountability and transparency; and (b) in particular, can an explanation be provided of how the department met, at every stage of the tender process, all of the requirements set out in each of the parts 7.23, 7.24, 7.25, 8.22, 8.23, 8.30, 8.48, 8.49 and 8.50 of the guidelines.