A contractor who has been on long term secondment with the NSW government was awarded overlapping contracts by two different departments worth a total of $2.5 million.
The government procurement site eTender shows Bryan Joan Pty Ltd in November 2020 was awarded a three-and-a-half year, $2.3 million contract to provide managed and outsourced services to Infrastructure NSW for projects that were under construction and yet to be contracted.
At the same time, the company won a contract valued at $164, 736 to provide Transport NSW with project management services for WestConnex M4-M5 link tunnel project until June 2023.
The LinkedIn page of Bryan Joan’s managing director Bryan Tan lists secondments to NSW government agencies on projects including Sydney Metro Northwest, Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport, and WestConnex and the Rozelle Interchange dating back to October 2015.
“What we have is eight years of so-called secondments,” Chair Abigail Boyd put to bureaucrats from Transport NSW during a parliamentary inquiry into the state government’s use of consultants.
“You’ll see the contract for $2.3 million is as Director Commercial on secondment to Infrastructure NSW,” Ms Boyd asked during a public hearing on Tuesday.
“But then this new one you’ve signed with him, he’s also on secondment to Rozelle Interchange as Strategic Negotiation Advisor for an additional $165,000.
It does appear that this is one person that has two jobs and has been on secondment within the government for at least eight years. Is this common?
‘It does appear that this is one person that has two jobs and has been on secondment within the government for at least eight years. Is this common?”
Executive Director of Procurement at Transport for NSW, Rob Halsall, replied “I haven’t seen this particular example before, so I can’t comment directly on this.”
Ms Boyd continued: “$2.3 million for three and a half years at a director level, is that comparable to what you’d get in a public sector role?”
“I don’t believe it is but I can’t comment on the details without knowing what sits behind this.. whether there’s a team supporting this individual in this scope of work,” Mr Halsall’s colleague Peter Perdikos, Executive Director, Commercial, Procurement and Transformation, said.
“It’s probably best we take that question on notice.’
TAHE CFO light on details
The inquiry also heard evidence from the CFO of the Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE) Lyndal Punch.
Ms Punch said as a state-owned corporation, TAHE is not obliged to comply with NSW Procurement Board Directions on consultants and contractions, but was “consistent and compliant” with them.
However, she was unable to provide certain details relating to a number of contracts awarded by TAHE including a six-month non-tender contract for $39,000; $300,300 for asset management services that was recorded as non-tender and a $705,000 contract for transport and traffic planning evaluation.
She was also unable to say how many external consultants were currently on secondment within TAHE, or their job titles.
Why are we spending $210,000 on analysing audio visual equipment for meeting rooms?
The inquiry also heard that TAHE paid communications and advocacy business SEC Newgate a “significant amount” of money to do communications work, despite TAHE employing three media and communications staff, but Ms Punch could not say what the figure amounted to.
Ms Boyed asked about a $210,000 non-tender contract for market analysis of audio visual material for meeting rooms.
“Why are we spending $210,000 on analysing audio visual equipment for meeting rooms,” Ms Boyd asked.
“I don’t have the details in front of me, I will have to take that on notice,” Acting CEO Reynard Smith said. He noted the contract included purchase of some equipment.
Ms Punch was also unable to say what the total amount paid to consultants PWC, KPMG and Deloitte by TAHE in the last three years was.
“I’ll take that on notice and provide that amount and percentage for you,” she said.
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