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Wednesday, 21 June 2000
Page: 15410

Senator Robert Ray asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 7 March 2000:

(1) What contracts has the department, or any agency of the department, provided to the firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in the 1998-99 financial year.

(2) In each instance: (a) what was the purpose of the work undertaken by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu; (b) what has been the cost to the department of the contract; and (c) what selection process was used to select Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (open tender, short-list or some other process).

Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) and (2) (a), (b) and (c) In responding to the question, the word `contracts' has been interpreted to mean written consultancy agreements or agreements for the provision of services and the word `provided' has been interpreted to mean a contract awarded by the department or a portfolio agency. Further, the information provided in this response includes contracts commissioned in the 1998-99 financial year only.

From the information available, the department provided three contracts to the firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu during the 1998-99 financial year and they are listed at Attachment 1.

The department is not aware that any portfolio agency provided any contract to this firm in the 1998-99 financial year.

Purpose of Contract

Date Commissioned

Commissioned Cost

Cost to Agency

Selection Process

Carry out the task of probity adviser for the Proving Up stage of the Very High Speed Train Project (VHST). The probity adviser provided advice to the Project Control Group (PCG) which was the intergovernmental steering committee, consisting of the Commonwealth, the ACT and New South Wales Governments, responsible for progressing the VHST project. The Proving Up stage facilitated Speedrail Proving Up their Submission so that governments were in a position to decide on the future of the Project and their involvement, if any, in it. The Commonwealth assumed the lead role in the project on 4 December 1998 when the Proving Up stage was deemed to have commenced The probity adviser was required to have high level communication, negotiation and liaison skills. The probity adviser also had to be acceptable to all three governments involved in the process. Staff with the relevant expertise were not available in the department.




Sole Sourced

Report on a review of the department's corporate governance framework, taking into consideration the issues of decision making and monitoring, statutory accountability, communication, roles and responsibilities, accountability for resources, internal governance assurance (including self assessment) and external reporting. The consultant had prepared a similar review for a department facing similar governance issues, and brought to the task specialist skills in relation to risk assessment and governance assurance. The task required independent advice from a consultant conversant with relevant governance issues.




Sole Sourced (based on prior relevant expertise in Public Service Corporate Governance)

Undertake a Fraud Risk Assessment and Prepare a Fraud Control Plan for all divisions of the department in accordance with Commonwealth Guidelines. The skills and resources required were not available within the department.




Restricted (ie short-list) quotation process