Lawder dislikes the smell of the Spotless contract extension

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Nicole Lawder

NICOLE Lawder says the Barr government’s decision to extend the Total Facilities Management (TFM) contract with current provider Spotless for an extra year until mid-2018 raises serious questions about governance issues.

“The contract which provides maintenance for public housing was awarded to Spotless for five years in 2012 meaning it would expire in 2017. This week, Yvette Berry inexplicably announced an extension until mid-2018,” Nicole said.

“This raises alarm bells given Spotless’s chequered management of public housing maintenance.

“The Minister needs to answer the following questions, including:

  • Why was the contract extended from 2017 to 2018, given the Auditor-General’s adverse findings surrounding Spotless’s management of public housing maintenance?
  • Given the original Spotless contract was due to end in 2017, why didn’t the government initiate a tender process for a new contract to commence as the current one expires?
  • Has the government’s MOU with UnionsACT been followed as part of the contract renewal?
  • Why is the cost of the extra year of the contract still being negotiated?
  • What role did the Minister personally play in extending the contract for Spotless?
  • Will the TFM be included as part of a new all encompassing asset management contract?

“Maintenance of public housing needs to be of the highest standard and there’s no doubt there have been issues with Spotless’s management. The Minister needs to explain lingering questions surrounding the TFM contract extension. Like many things with this government, it just doesn’t smell right,” Ms Lawder concluded.

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