Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Sky City deal - fair and transparent?

No, according to the Auditor General. I/S looks behind the 'vindicated' claim from Key:

"But on the substantive question of whether the government ran an open, fair and transparent process to ensure all bidders had an equal chance and that we got value for money, the answer is a clear "no". The government started such a process, then Key started wheeling and dealing behind the scenes, and basically used it as cover while he negotiated preferentially with SkyCity. In the Deputy Auditor-General's words:
[T]he result was that SkyCity was treated very differently from the other parties that responded and the evaluation process effectively moved into a different phase with one party. In our view, the steps that were taken were not consistent with good practice principles of transparency and fairness."
xtasy adds:

" “Given this complexity, we were surprised to find that there was no documented analysis or advice on the process that needed to be followed from a procurement perspective, or any systematic consideration of the relevant principles and obligations that should guide the steps taken. In our view, those involved had a strong focus on the need to manage the difficult relationship between the commercial issues and the policy and political decisions that were needed, but too little focus on the disciplines that should govern commercial decision-making in the public sector.”

“The first example concerns the lack of overall planning. A specific weakness was that there is no evidence that any consideration was given to whether the Mandatory Rules on Procurement were relevant.”

“Although decisions were made on the merits of the different proposals, we do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even-handed. The evaluation process lasted for more than a year. The meetings and discussion between the Government representatives and SkyCity were materially different in quantity and kind from those between the Government and the other parties that responded.”

And finally the summary:
“Process should not stand in the way of such innovation. However, the underlying principles that established processes aim to protect do still need to be respected. New ways of working in the public sector still need to be able to show that public resources are being appropriately managed and spent. We will continue to discuss such developments with relevant officials and update our good practice publications from time to time to reflect latest developments.”

1 comment:

Paranormal said...

Is the government really in a procurement role in this situation?