Queensland based software company TechnologyOne Limited has emerged as the biggest winner so far from Baird’s forced amalgamation agenda, with the company picking up an estimated $10 million worth of directly negotiated contracts from just three newly amalgamated councils.
TechnologyOne has donated over $150,000 to Liberal Party branches across Australia and documents obtained by Greens MP David Shoebridge show the company is being being actively promoted by the Department of Premier and Cabinet to produce an even more lucrative standardised IT model for all merged councils.
The Inner West, Cumberland and Georges River councils have all entered multi-million dollar contracts with TechnologyOne without any public tender process, according to Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge.
‘Everyone has been asking who wins from these forced mergers and now we know, the biggest winner so far is a company that’s given more than $150,000 to the Liberal Party across the country.
‘TechnologyOne being is being so heavily promoted by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and that at least three merged councils have gotten rid of the open tender process and just signed on with this company.
‘When you are talking about crucial long term contracts which are each worth $3 million or more it is extraordinary they are being signed without testing the market for best value.
‘This is market where even the councils acknowledge there is a serious competitor to TechnologyOne that can largely provide the same service.
‘History proves that the public almost never benefits when viable competitors are frozen out in preference for one-on-one deals.
‘The biggest initial cost for long suffering ratepayers in newly merged councils is almost always fixing the IT problems, but what is a cost for ratepayers is an opportunity for a well-connected business.
‘For TechnologyOne this first $10 million in ratepayers money is just the start, if they get the nod from the NSW government to deliver IT solutions for all merged councils the final figure will likely be closer to $100 million
‘Right now these decisions are being made by unelected and unaccountable council Administrators who were chosen by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in the first place.
‘It is well and truly time that Premier Berejiklian distanced herself from Baird’s failed merger policy, and committed to no forced council amalgamations anywhere in NSW,’ Mr Shoebridge said.