ALBURY Council has moved to beef up its guidelines around lobbying of councillors in the lead-up to contracts being awarded.
The council's finance and administration committee meeting on Monday will be presented with a string of additional clauses for conduct during a tender process, but stop short of mandating disqualification for breaches.
It's in response to a contentious tender for security services at Albury airport.
The council over-ruled a staff recommendation to change providers, but during a prolonged deliberation it was revealed councillors were contacted by via email in the lead-up to the decision being made.
SNP retained the contract for a further five years.
The report written by council's chief financial officer, Justin Finlayson, recommends four changes to the procurement policy.
They include only the appointed tender co-ordinator is to accept any contact from a tenderer relating to procedural or timing related questions; councillors and council staff are to promptly notify the general manager of any approach which may constitute unauthorised communication or lobbying and the general manager will disclose the existence of any unauthorised communication before the item is addressed at a council meeting.
Also, unauthorised communication be defined to include seeking to influence, obtain the support and or assistance of councillors or staff or urging or persuading councillors or council staff to take a particular action in relation to the relevant procurement.
The council's procurement policy and statement of business ethics also be revised to state: “Council's suppliers, tenderers, contractors, consultants and partners, their employees and subcontractors are expected to not lobby or canvass councillors or council staff during a tender or quotation process as it is unethical and inappropriate, and maybe illegal.
“Unauthorised communication or lobbying of councillors or council staff during a tender or quotation process may lead to tenders being excluded from consideration.”