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    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Statement on the independent advice into the tender process to appoint a company to produce the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Statement on the independent advice into the tender process to appoint a company to produce the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

     

    E&EO proof only 

    I was proud to be part of a Government that won the Commonwealth Games for the Gold Coast. 

    And I am determined – as the new Minister for the Games – to ensure it delivers for the Gold Coast and Queensland. 

    As reported, unsuccessful tenderers for the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies raised concerns about the procurement process. 

    In a letter they sent to the Auditor-General they said they wanted to “place on the record” that their objection is only based on concerns with the process, not that the contract was awarded to a firm with global links. 

    They said in this letter that the “industry is specialised and by nature global [and] as such firms compete for work around the world.” 

    These concerns were forwarded to an independent probity auditor and they have reported back to the Department. 

    This morning – in a transparent manner – I have tabled the auditor’s advice in Parliament and it is being provided to the Auditor-General. 

    The independent probity auditor has advised the tender was fair and in accordance with the Queensland Government procurement policy principles. 

    The tender was consistent with the State Procurement Plan 2014-2018.   

    This plan guides tender processes and is about ensuring transparency and no political interference in government procurement processes. 

    It is also about getting the best value for money for Queenslanders, and based around sound principles to ensure projects are delivered at the highest standard possible. 

    These principles are designed to ensure government is kept at arm’s length from all tenders. 

    From the outset, I have been concerned at the way the process of notifying the bidders was handled. 

    For any company, participating in a tender process is a substantial commitment of time and resources. 

    It was not good enough that they were notified before Christmas of the result and then told to expect a debrief sometime in the New Year. 

    Everyone should have been debriefed when they were notified – not handed a letter and told to wait until after Christmas. 

    All of the bidders are well-respected experts in what is a highly-specialised field that operates in an international marketplace.  

    They should have had this courtesy extended to them. 

    I believe this would have avoided any misunderstanding and any perception the process was flawed. 

    I have made my views clear to GOLDOC the communication with bidders was not good enough. 

    But I want to be clear – the four companies invited to tender are all Australian companies who have had extensive international experience and links. 

    No Queensland companies submitted a bid.  

    As I’ve said, the unsuccessful tenderers wrote to the Auditor-General. 

    I, along with the government, respect the role and independence of the Auditor-General. 

    Whether the Auditor-General initiates his own investigation, is a matter for him. 

    As Minister, I would of course welcome an investigation and ensure there is full cooperation in any investigation but that is entirely a decision for the Auditor-General. 

    If anyone believes they have any evidence this tender was not compliant with the requirements they should refer their concerns to the Auditor-General. 

    Let me make it very clear – I will not meddle in tenders. 

    Just as I won’t meddle in the selection of Australia’s men and women’s relay team.  

    But I will ensure the competition for procurement is fair and I will ensure our local businesses are Games-ready - just as our athletes will be. 

    In terms of the medal tally on procurement, Gold Coast and Queensland businesses are doing well:

     

    *         Of the $269 million of construction contracts awarded to businesses in Queensland so far, $119 million have been awarded to Gold Coast firms and $143 million to South East Queensland businesses.

    *         Of overall purchase order and contracts since 2012, 1,225 have gone to Gold Coast companies, 207 to Queensland companies and 93 to interstate companies.

    *         64 of the 66 contracts awarded to date for the Parklands Project have been won by South East Queensland businesses. Of these, 31 contracts have been awarded to Gold Coast businesses, 33 to South East Queensland businesses and two contracts have gone to interstate companies.

     Media contact:  0475 950 772