A PUSH to hand back operation and management of Corowa’s Ball Park caravan park to the company which submitted the only conforming tender for the task has been rejected by Federation Council.
A move to reinstate the facility’s operators for more than a decade, Andrew and Sonia Palmer, for 18 months was supported by four councillors, Fred Longmire, Gail Law, Bronwyn Thomas and mayor Pat Bourke.
But they were rolled by the five other councillors who also succeeded 5-4 in calling for new tenders with a revised tender document including contract length being 18 months plus two one-year options.
The embarrassing mistake of BelgraviaPro being awarded the original contract despite not including provision for electricity and gas charges as stated in the tender document was discovered over a week ago.
Council dealt with the fallout for almost two hours behind closed doors on Tuesday.
"Council is disappointed that a critical error was found within the tender process," Cr Bourke said.
“In the interim, council has a short-term arrangement in place with BelgraviaPro to continue to manage the park during this period.
“Council thanks the two firms who submitted tenders and looks forward to advertising for new tenders fairly quickly in order to give those interested in submitting tenders, our valued guests, and all other stakeholders some certainty about the longer-term management as soon as possible.”
Mr Palmer said he was disappointed not to be given the opportunity to take on the interim management arrangement after submitting the only conforming tender.
“These tender processes aren't cheap and it is costing the ratepayers money,” he said.
“We all deserve an answer as to what happened from the person who wrote the document, opened the document and assessed the tenders. An investigation should be held.
“If the tender document doesn’t change the tender we put in will still be applicable, but if it changes we need to look at it.”
The Border Mail sought an explanation on changes in the tender document and whether an investigation would be conducted.
“Council continues to review its tender assessment process and in the lead up to calling for new tenders, the tender document will be reviewed prior to advertising,” Federation general manager Adrian Butler said.