Footh­path con­tracts to be de­layed

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

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.

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