Foothpath contracts to be delayed
Two footpath contracts worth a combined total of nearly $20 million may not be awarded until April 23.
The Auckland City Council transport committee has been careful signing off the deals after questions were raised about the fairness of the process.
The contracts, which are for footpath renewals in southern and eastern parts of Auckland, are likely to be awarded to John Fillmore Contractors.
The subject of much discussion has been a Christmas ham, which was gifted to a council member last year and viewed by some as an unprofessional practice.
Committee chairman Ken Baguley says the number of allegations is staggering.
“In normal conditions, people do give a ham or a bottle of wine. There is no specific one-on-one gifting. There is the perception that people are buying business.”
He says that professional practices are being followed and the issue is not about the contractor but the contract itself.
“It scares the hell out of me to hear allegations are flooding in,” says councillor Cathy Casey.
But Mr Baguley says the situation is rare.
“There has been one instance out of 70 questions raised that has the slightest bit of validity.”
He hopes the council meeting on April 23 will see the end of the issue.