In an interesting and positive move yesterday, Auckland Transport announced they would start releasing the details of every single contract they award, not just those over $50,000 as they currently do.
Auckland Transport (AT) will be releasing details of all its contracts publicly.
Since it was established in 2010, AT routinely published the details of all contracts valued over $50,000 on its website. That threshold has now been dropped to zero.
AT Chairman, Dr Lester Levy, says that as a publicly-funded body, the organisation wants to be as transparent and accountable as possible.
“There is a small extra administrative burden in releasing this sort of information, but we feel that it’s worth it to allow more open scrutiny of our activities,” he says. “This demonstrates a clear commitment to being open and accountable to the public at large.”
Dr Levy says the nature of some of AT’s activities, such as property negotiations, means that sometimes information is commercially-sensitive and involves third-party businesses or individuals.
“In those cases, and to protect the interests of ratepayers and taxpayers, they are dealt with confidentially. However, when the reason for that confidentiality no longer exists, the material is routinely released (and published on AT’s website).”
I wonder how much of this comes as a result of the fallout from the recent fraud case in which on former AT manager was sentenced to 5 years jail. We also know that this is something Penny Bright has been pushing for, I wonder if it means she will pay her rates now?
The information they currently release is here. One request for AT is it would be useful if AT could also provide a CSV version of the data in the PDF. Also it seems silly that AT only show the last 6 months. Why not just leave old versions of the file online.
The results on the website at the time of writing this are still only contracts for over $50k but the one thing that particularly surprises me is just how many are direct appointments. By my count, of the 260 contracts on the list, 229 of them (88%) were directly appointed. Here is a same of the current report.
I’m sure some people will be going through these results, with a fine tooth comb.