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When “transparency” backfires: The tender process that just won’t provide the preferred outcome

November 8th, 2011 at 02:45am

I don’t understand this one any more. The federal government is clearly intent on awarding the next contract for the operation of the Australia Network to the ABC, but is also so hopelessly intent on pretending to be following correct processes that it has yet again changed the rules in the hope that the inferior bid of the ABC will somehow be declared the winner.

The Government has terminated the tender process to find a new operator for the Australia Network due to “significant leaks” relating to the contract to run the broadcaster.

The communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy announced the decision to terminate the process late on Monday afternoon, saying the process had been compromised to such a degree that a fair outcome could not be achieved. A decision will now be made by March next year, he said.

Of course when Conroy says “fair outcome” he actually means “giving the contract to the ABC because those people at Sky will corrupt the Asians with a ‘Bob Brown’s hate media’ view of my inept government”.

Recently, the Government requested that the Australian Federal Police investigate developments surrounding the tender including the leaks, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review. That request came after The Australian published a story claiming that Sky News had been nominated as the preferred tenderer for a second time.

(h/t Media Spy’s bacco|007)

Yes, that’s right, a second time. The last time Sky News were about to win, the government changed the rules as well. Back to July goes the time machine…

Doubts have emerged about the tender process to determine who will run the Australia Network, after it emerged that the Federal Government sidestepped an independent assessment that Sky News would be better placed to run the broadcaster.

Fairfax newspapers report today that Sky News’ bid was originally favoured over the ABC’s offer by a majority of the public servants charged with overseeing the process. But the panel’s role was effectively ditched after the Government made a late decision to modify the rules governing the tender.

(h/t Media Spy’s Cyril Washbrook)

This all reminds me of the good (aka bad) old days of the ACT Government under the leadership of then-Chief Turnip Jon Stanhope where every decision went to a “public consultation” where people who could be bothered going along to the consultation sessions were promptly ignored and ridiculed by the government officials in attendance, and the government just went ahead with its own plans anyway.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a Labor/Greens federal government is using the tricks of a Labor/Greens territory government…I just wish that if they were going to do stuff regardless of the outcome of reviews/consultations/committees/etc that they would just do it instead of wasting money on the reviews/consultations/committees/etc, but then who would they pass the blame to when it all goes badly? Oh, of course, Tony Abbott, just like she did with the boat people policy when they fell in a giant steaming heap, and didn’t the opinion polls absolutely love her for that?

Julia, just give up and call an election. It’s clear that you have no idea how to govern…just let us elect someone else, please!


Entry Filed under: Bizarreness,General News,Samuel's Editorials

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