Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today that Premier Weatherill had now conceded he had been warned about possible probity issues over his controversial Gillman deal four months before he appointed a probity advisor to monitor the deal.
Yesterday Mr Weatherill released a part of the original letter to him from Adelaide Capital Partners on 18 June 2013 which states:
“In granting this exclusive option to Adelaide Capital Partners, there is the potential for comment regarding probity related matters and a possible expectation of putting the development out to formal tender.”
“Even the proponents of the deal were warning Mr Weatherill there might be probity concerns about the proposed process,” said Mr Lucas.
“Despite this the Weatherill Government didn’t appoint a probity advisor until more than four months later on 29 October!
“The findings by the Supreme Court and the Auditor General, together with evidence to the Select Committee, make it clear there were many meetings between ACP and Government representatives during this critical 4 month period.
“In fact negotiations over the details of the contract were being conducted.
“However, because Mr Weatherill had ignored the warning there was no probity advisor attending meetings or overseeing the process to ensure accountability and fairness.
“The Auditor General has also agreed that the probity advisor should have been appointed much earlier in the process.
The Auditor General was scathing in his criticism of probity processes:
“The probity advisor’s report does not identify the applicable policies nor provide confirmation as to whether the process was compliant with these policies. The consultant has not reported on the full scope of services as outlined in the agreed terms and conditions of engagement, increasing the risk of the URA not being appraised of relevant matters of a probity nature to be addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.”
“The appointment of the probity advisor on 29 October was only 15 days before the Renewal SA Board was first asked to vote and support a concluded deal with ACP,” said Mr Lucas.
“This is another reason why there has been so much concern about the Gillman deal and the fact that Mr Weatherill has drawn attention to it is a massive ‘own goal’.
“Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis must now explain why they didn’t appoint a probity advisor until more than four months after they were first alerted to probity concerns and only 15 days before the Renewal SA Board were asked to vote on the deal.”