Tenders to be discarded if any unauthorised contact with Albury councillors is made beforehand

ANY company found guilty of attempting to influence awarding of future tenders by speaking to an Albury councillor beforehand will be named and shamed.

Cr Henk van de Ven

Cr Henk van de Ven

The council's finance and administration committee on Monday night unanimously recommended already strengthened procurement guidelines by further bolstered with two additional measures successfully proposed by Cr Henk van de Ven.

On top of the general manager disclosing the existence of any unauthorised communication or lobbying before the item is presented, the identity of the tenderer in question will be revealed.

The committee also recommended the council's statement of business ethics be changed to exclude tenders in the event of a breach rather than leaving some legal wriggle room.

The altered recommendation is expected to be adopted without any opposition at the next council meeting.

The moves are in response to a tender for airport security services being awarded late last year and the revelation councillors were contacted via email in the lead-up to the decision being made.

Cr van de Ven said "any ambiguity" with the procurement policy had been removed with the recommended changes.

"It takes some uncertainty out of previous council options to still accept tenders even though there were communications between tenders and councillors," he said.

"It is quite clear now what the policy is.

"If there is a legal risk I am prepared to accept that legal risk on the off chance we are left exposed."

Cr van de Ven's additional changes to the policy were supported by councillors Kevin Mack, Murray King and John Stuchbery who voted late last year to over-rule a staff recommendation and retain the existing airport security services provider.

"As it was it was open to interpretation and we need to provide direction and protection to councillors and staff," Cr Mack said.

"It's been upgraded and reviewed and we move on."

Unauthorised communication has been 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.

Meanwhile, another live streaming trial was held at the committee meeting before going live from next Monday.

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