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Probity heat continues in Canberra, five-year review motion thrown out

A call from the ACT opposition party to put all procurements from the last five years under the microscope has been thrown out by the government. 

The territory government has instead confirmed it will make public an independent review into Procurement ACT completed last year.

Liberal leader Elizabeth Lee said taxpayers deserved access to greater transparency after and a review following the ACT’s Integrity Commissioner’s suggestion probity issues were endemic, The Canberra Times reports. 

“Canberrans deserve to know how their money is being spent and that they are getting value for money [and] not simply being used as pawns in a political coalition by Labor and the Greens to look out for each other,” Ms Lee said. 

“We must have more transparency now and that should start with the immediate, independent audit of ACT government procurements.”

The motion for a review, presented on Thursday (24 March), was knocked back by Special Minister of State Chris Steel who deemed the review to be too resource intensive. 

“The significant investment of time staffing resources and costs required to undertake this task would be unlikely to deliver a comparable level of benefit in improving human outcomes,” he said. 

Mr Steel said the independent review of Procurement ACT from 2021 would be tabled in the Legislative Assembly. 

The heat on ACT government’s procurement processes stems from a scathing Auditor-General’s report into issues with how tenders for an extension at Campbell Primary School were handled. The project was unveiled as an $18 million project in the 2018/19 financial year. 

In February this year the Commissioner called on builders to do in suspicious procurement activity in the government’s processes. 






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