The West

Rockingham Council tendering debacle
Prestige Catering and Event Hire director Michael McCafferty

A six-figure catering contract for Rockingham City Council has still not been awarded, despite being first advertised more than 15 months ago.

An investigation by the Sound Telegraph has revealed the entire process was scrapped, which triggered a review of the council’s entire catering functions and activities, after the council found ‘‘shortcomings’’ in its tender process for the contract.

Prestige Catering and Event Hire director Michael McCafferty lifted the lid on failings in the tender process last year, when he claims he was unable to get information from the council relating to the tender.

The Rockingham businessman said he complained to the council about the tender process, which he said contained ‘‘a poor standard of documentation’’ in relation to the scope of works.

Mr McCafferty also claims he was refused information about the catering tender, which he estimated was worth about $100,000 a year, when he spoke to a council officer.

‘‘Catering is only a small tender,’’ Mr McCafferty said.

‘‘However, the council, which is dealing with multimillion dollar contracts, has a huge budget and ratepayers need to be confident that council is spending money efficiently and processes are being handled correctly to make sure ratepayers’ money is being spent wisely.’’

Chief executive Andrew Hammond confirmed the council had received a complaint and, after an investigation, a number of shortcomings were highlighted about the process used in dealing with inquiries from prospective applicants for the catering contract.

‘‘As a result of those shortcomings, the tender process was cancelled,’’ he said.

Mr Hammond said the existing panel of contractors would continue servicing the council’s catering requirements until the new catering contract was finalised.

Tenders for the catering contract are expected to be called within the next month.

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