BCP Contractors is suing the City of Busselton for more than $1.2 million in damages, claiming City staff failed to act “fairly, reasonably, and in good faith” during the tender process for the Eastern Link Development.
The City of Busselton was issued with a Supreme Court writ on Friday from Pragma Lawyers on behalf of BCP Contractors and given 10 days to respond.
BCP Contractors alleges the City communicated with Leeuwin Civil after the closing date of the tender process to adjust its estimated cost to “revised and discounted pricing”, and thereby awarded Leeuwin Civil the road development project.
Leeuwin Civil’s original tender was $53,888 more expensive than BCP’s tender.
The tender process closed on August 20, 2019 at 2pm, but BCP claims senior City staff members communicated with Leeuwin Civil between September 4 and 6 which resulted in “revised pricing schedules due to internal review”.
BCP Contractors director Kyle Jackson said BCP obtained more than 1000 pages of documents from the City of Busselton through four Freedom of Information requests.
“These documents identified several serious irregularities in the tender evaluation process for the Eastern Link project,” he said. “Apparent breaches of the City of Busselton’s Code of Conduct by three senior employees were also identified.”
The writ also claims City of Busselton staff gave Leeuwin Civil a better “local benefit” score despite the company failing to describe how it would contribute to the community.
City of Busselton chief executive Mike Archer said the City was satisfied the tender evaluation process resulted in the “most advantageous” outcome for the City.
“The City is satisfied that the tender evaluation and procurement process in relation to the City’s Eastern Link Road Network project complies with all relevant regulatory requirements and procedural fairness and resulted in the most advantageous outcome for the City,” he said.
“Therefore, the City intends to defend this matter in court.”
The City is also accused of failing to act fairly when assessing the “relevant experience”, “capacity and resources”, “demonstrated understanding”, and “key personnel” evaluation criteria.
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