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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Draft NSW guidelines on new contract disclosures

An earlier blog referred to comments made by Professor David Richmond regarding draft NSW Treasury guidelines on the disclosure of government contracts.

These draft guidelines are referred to in his report “Review of future provision of motorways in NSW”. The report is on the Premier’s Department website (go to Infrastructure).

The report (Section 6.6) addresses disclosure issues and Appendix 14 reproduces the draft Treasury guidelines. The guidelines seem to be an amended version of guidelines issued by the former Premier in 2000 in Premier’s Memorandum 2000-11. There are some additional requirements for disclosures for all government contracts – in addition to price, future changes including bonuses or penalties are to be disclosed and a summary is to be provided of the information used in any financial model regarding price, tolls and other usage charges.

However the full base case financial model when used is listed as a new item regarded as ‘commercial in confidence’ and not to be disclosed in any contracts.

The current status of the draft or the extent to which there has been consultation on it isn’t clear – we couldn’t find any reference to it on the Treasury website.

What’s on the table so far would seem to fall well short of expectations for a fresh start in the direction of more pro active mandatory disclosure requirements, following the clear failure of existing guidelines.

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