Explosion in $79k contracts that don’t need to go out to tender

2017 ongoing

In the past four years three times as many contracts worth between $78,000 and $80,000 — the threshold for a tender process — have been doled out than there were between $80,000 and $82,000.

As Senator Jacquie Lambie wrote in Crikey, $1.5 billion in 2019-20 was splashed around the private sector with no scrutiny. “Any project worth less than $80,000 can be awarded to anyone — without scrutiny.”

And while the contracts provide plenty of jobs, the government doesn’t advertise more than half of them publicly.

Senator Lambie noted that in the past four years, three times as many contracts worth between $78,000 and $80,000 — the threshold — were doled out than there were between $80,000 and $82,000.

“A contract that goes over budget and requires more taxpayer dollars on top is allowed to raid the public purse with no consequence.”

Given the fact that missing out on a government contract might be the difference between a small business staying open or closing their doors, Senator Lambie is demanding an end to $79,999 contracts being tendered in the dark.

Read more.

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