Rann Government hiding details of first PPP contracts
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
The Rann Government has breached its own contract disclosure policy and commitments made in Parliament by not releasing a copy of the Government’s first Public Private Partnerships (PPP) contract, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“In May 2005, the Rann Government entered into a contract with Plenary Justice to deliver a number of regional police stations and court houses. The total value of the buildings was claimed to be $40 million,” Mr. Lucas said.
“In September 2003, the Minister for Infrastructure answered a question in Parliament by promising public disclosure of the contract.
“PPP contracts are subject to the Government’s contract disclosure policy, as detailed in Treasurer’s Instructions 27.”
“However, a search of the Tenders and Contracts SA website indicates the contract has not been released on the website. In fact there is no indication of the contract at all.
“Even if the Rann Government was going to claim commercial confidentiality of the whole project (which it didn't in the Minister's September 2003 answer), the Contract Disclosure policy requires reasons for the non disclosure of the contract to be published on the website.
“It is clear there has been a serious breach of Treasurer's Instruction 27, as it was then. It needs to be noted that the Auditor General, in evidence to the ‘Stashed Cash’ inquiry, indicated breaches of Treasurer’s Instructions were ‘unlawful’ and raised the prospect of criminal sanctions.
Mr. Lucas said the Rann Government needs to indicate what action will be taken against those who have breached Treasurer’s Instructions.
“The Rann Government is obviously desperate to keep secret the details of its first PPP contract; however, the taxpayers of South Australia are entitled to know all the details of this contract and what the total cost to taxpayers will be.
The Minister for Police, Mr. Holloway, was asked in Parliament today to release a copy of the contract, but he refused to answer the question.
“Given the Government has just announced major new PPP’s for schools and detention facilities, this secrecy on the first PPP contract is a worrying sign for the future,” Mr. Lucas said.
“It is time for Mr. Rann to throw off the ‘cloak of secrecy’ and release a copy of its first PPP contract so that taxpayers are in a position to make a sensible judgment on its handling of PPP contracts.”