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When is a bid not a bid? When it's an "approach"

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Media Release

Senator John Faulkner

Shadow Minister for Public Administration and Government Services

Shadow Minister for Olympic Coordination and the Centenary of Federation

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate




During Estimate Committee Hearings this week, the Defence Department revealed the steps they took to secure the Cape York Concrete contract for the $175,500 job at Scherger bare base.


The Defence Procurement Guidelines (attached) include requ irements that purchasing officers should:

* Provide reasonable opportunity for potential suppliers to compete for business

* Ensure a sufficient number of suppliers are invited to compete, and

* Negotiate with suppliers to clarify ambiguities, to achieve m utual interests and to obtain lower prices


Mr Entsch confirmed in Parliament yesterday that his business partner “was approached in about mid-March by a representative of the Defence Department in Townsville to submit a price on a job at the RAAF Scherger .”


The head of DefenceEstate, Mr Rod Corey, revealed at Estimates that the project managers, GH and D had provided the RAAF with a list of three potential suppliers of concrete for the job.


A delegate from the RAAF contacted Cape York Concrete for a quote for the job. The delegate did not obtain a quote from either Boral Concrete or McCosker Contracting Pty Ltd, which were the alternative suppliers on the GHD list.


The delegate consulted a Boral price list obtained from a source other than Boral, and did not seek a competitive bid directly from Boral for the work.


Cape York Concrete was advised on March 31 that it had obtained the contract.


At 8.30am on April 20, a representative from Boral complained at the Scherger site that he had been given no opportunity to quote for the job. This is corroborated in the attached minute signed by Flight Sergeant P Jones: “The reason you (Boral Concrete) were not asked to tender was the short notice given to the site manager.”


On the evidence obtained through Senate Estimates this procurement did not meet the Defence Guidelines.


Note: The Defence Procurement Guidelines are held in DPL information files


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Colin Campbell 0419 634 919

10 JUNE 1999




cm  1999-06-15  09:45