Edward Mandla
COUNCIL SPEECHES
Dysfunctional Tendering and “Managed Democracy” failing Public Interest through Inappropriate Confidential Classification of Documents – Part 3 Christmas Trees

Published On: 28/07/2014

This tender really got me last week. We’re buying Christmas Trees and we get a measly two tender responses that are either non-conforming or non-compliant.

The recommendation is that, first of all, it’s all “confidential” and secondly authority be given to an overworked CEO to get on the blower and get us some trees.

Really? Really? Really? What happened? Are the Boy Scouts sourcing Christmas Trees from Burma?

When I started asking questions, well, it was very apparent that some in this chamber would prefer it when people don’t ask questions.

So once again, I thought I’d read the tender. I read it pretending that I represented The KokMan Supply Corporation comprising Councillor Kok, Councillor Mant and myself Councillor Mandla. I figured we could make some easy money, save the city some, and supply Christmas Trees for a cheap $950,000.

When I carefully looked at what happened with this tender I saw all that is dysfunctional about this organisation.

It also became abundantly clear what’s wrong with this, and it’s not the Tenderers, it’s us.

Lord Mayor, I have some bad news. We have asked Christmas tree and decoration suppliers to supply us with an entertainment show and then wondered what went wrong.

You couldn’t even consider these Christmas decorations, it’s really an audiovisual display with 4 square metre displays that are supposed to take messages from social media and react to people jumping up and down on pressure mats. It doesn’t sound like Christmas decorations in any sense of the word.

But there’s more. It seems that to order some Christmas trees and decorations that we require 77 pages of utter gobbledegook.

We’ve made it impossible for mere mortals to deal with the City of Sydney. No chance for the The Kokman Supply Corporation.

As for the poor Tenderers, it’s little wonder that only two submitted tenders and none complied. When one reads the specification it was easy to see why. They required:

  1. Schedule of energy consumption of each Christmas tree and decoration unit;
  2. Program outlining all milestones for deliverables, permit applications, notifications, inspections, design development inspections and installation & dismantle dates;
  3. Engineering certification and any other relevant certification for trees and decorations;
  4. Pedestrian and Traffic Management plans;
  5. Operational manuals provided to enable the City or its Contractors to install, de-install and operate the tree and decorations in subsequent years.

For a moment I thought we were talking about Christmas Trees and decorations!

But as this is a Lord Mayoral extravaganza fuelled with Ratepayer dollars it was always going to be an over powered display.

Welcome to the 2014 City of Sydney – Dysfunction Junction.



Edward Mandla
July 2014

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