11/07/2018 - 15:35

State govt defends Huawei contract

11/07/2018 - 15:35

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state government says there was no conflict of interest with the recent awarding of a $205 million contract to Huawei, after it was revealed the Chinese group paid for flights and phones for two cabinet members during a trip to China in 2015.

Rita Saffioti travelled to China in 2015. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government says there was no conflict of interest with the recent awarding of a $205 million contract to Huawei, after it was revealed the Chinese group paid for flights and phones for two cabinet members during a trip to China in 2015.

The government awarded Huawei and joint venture partner UGL the contract to build and maintain radio systems for the Public Transport Authority on Monday.

A government spokesperson said Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery had taken the appropriate steps following the trip.

“Both Sue Ellery and Rita Saffioti were completely transparent in disclosing the fact that Huawei covered some of the cost of the trip – the information is all available publicly,” he said.

“The selection of the Huawei/UGL joint venture as the preferred proponent was entirely a decision of the PTA, based on standard procurement considerations (eg capability, value for money etc) and standard tender processes.

“The minister was not involved.

“To suggest a trip made three years ago whilst in opposition influenced this entirely independent process is absurd.”

Acting opposition leader Liza Harvey said the concern centred on whether the cabinet had the final say on the contract.

“When a decision comes before cabinet, if you’ve had any link as a minister to a beneficiary of one of those decisions, or an association with somebody who will benefit from one of those decisions, you need to declare to the cabinet secretary,” she said.

"The cabinet secretary then makes a decision as to whether you can be part of the decision making process, whether you can be part of the discussion and the decision making process, or whether you need to exempt yourself from cabinet altogether.”

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options