15 January 2019
The Northern Territory Government does not appear to be learning too many lessons having not reined in its spending and releasing tenders for questionable services.
The most recent example is a tender advertised for a consultant to develop a business case "to ascertain" the veracity of establishing an eSport facility, whether eSports "can be used as an effective youth engagement strategy" and the local capacity and capability.
"The question is – why isn’t there anyone in government who can do such a business case?" Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said. "Why do we need more consultants to do what I would think is an essential task within government? And isn’t it ironic coming at a time when a Darwin eSports company has now closed indefinitely?
"According to their annual report, Tourism and Culture has 624 employees including 21 ECOs, 16 SAO2 and 36 SAO1 – and not one of them can do a business case? Does the Minister find this acceptable?"
Mr Higgins said there were also still unanswered questions about the government’s interim budget repair report released in December.
"We’ve put to the government a series of questions about the work of John Langoulant and Helen Silver who Labor announced in October (release 26/10/18) as the independent experts ‘to examine fiscal and productivity reforms that will help improve the budget position’," he said.
"What are the terms of reference for their engagement and the timeframe? How are they being remunerated and at what cost? Why were their names not on the report? What role did they have in preparing the report?
"When will the final report be released and what role do the independent experts have in the preparation of that final report?