If so, there are several questions for the Board. Were the contracts publicly notified for competitive tender? Who was responsible for awarding the contracts? Is the work being carried out by a qualified builder? How has the Board determined if the amounts requested are value for money for the work? Were competitive tenders part of the applications produced at the Board meeting?
The Waiheke Local Board recently approved a grant of over $30,000 for the Sea Scouts hut roof repairs and over $40,000 was taken from the Local Development Initiatives Fund for repairs to the Waiheke Sports Club building on the Causeway. These are large amounts of ratepayers money, yet there was no breakdown of costing or competitive tenders attached to the applications in the Board agenda. Three years ago, before the current local board took office, such requirements were mandatory to ensure value for money for ratepayers.
Good governance requires that the public should have trust that their money is spent wisely and provides value for money. This is done through a transparent tendering process that is subject to public scrutiny. Local Waiheke resident Roger Hutton made the point on a recent blog comment.
The Government Rules Of Sourcing 2014 sets out rules for planning procurement, approaching the market and contracting.
Included in these Rules are the following guidelines:
1) When dealing with new construction works, individual contracts for goods, services or works valued at less than $10 million are deemed to be part of the whole and should be openly advertised.
2) Good procurement is about good process and good results.
Open competitive processes that comply with the Rules include:
a. one-step processes such as Requests for Quote or Requests for Tender
b. multi-step processes such as a Registration of Interest followed by a shortlisting and then a Request for Proposal or Request for Tender.
3) If an agency uses a direct source process (with one known supplier) it does not mean that it can instantly contract that supplier. It should request a formal proposal from the supplier and evaluate the proposal, assess its value for money, which isn’t always the cheapest price, and undertake due diligence before deciding to negotiate a contract. It must not simply approach one supplier and award a contract without proper evaluation of capacity, capability, risk, value for money and due diligence.
I am aware that these guidelines were prepared for government agencies but perhaps members of the current local board could enlighten your readers as to whether it follows similar guidelines for its procurement process, or does it set out to deliberately circumvent that process by outsourcing contracts to trusts etc.
I may be wrong but I can not remember seeing any advertisements in local media seeking tenders for work on projects such as the old library space etc.
If there is no response could I be justified in assuming that many local projects are awarded on the basis of ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know!’
As far as the Biased News is concerned, and based on my observations of their Putinesque performance prior to the local body elections in 2013, I would recommend that any one they promote should be avoided like the plague!
There are salutary lessons for all future politicians in the failings of the current Board. When politicians throw out due process and abandon accountability and transparency, they lose the trust of the community that there is a level playing field.
Restoring public trust must be the number one priority of a new Board.