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Govt ignores ad guidelines for SOE contract

20 June 2012

Govt ignores ad guidelines for SOE contract

The Government has ignored its own advertising guidelines in putting out a tender for the advertising contract for the sale of our state owned assets just before Christmas, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Advertising agency Clemenger won the state owned asset sales contract after Treasury issued a Request for Proposals on December 15. Best practice guidelines issued by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet state: ''Unless it is unavoidable, government entities should be sensitive to the needs of busy people and not initiate tendering processes in the three weeks before Christmas, the week after Christmas and around Easter.''

“What was the need for the Government to act with unseemly haste and break their own advertising guidelines when the legislation surrounding the sale of our state owned assets is still going through Parliament now,” said Dr Norman.

“Finance Minister Bill English also refuses to release any details of what this contract is worth other than telling Parliament it will be a ‘significant spend’.

“This is completely unacceptable.

“During the sale of Contact Energy in the late 90s the Shipley administration was at least willing to answer parliamentary questions regarding how tens of millions of dollars was spent on advertising and banking services.

“The state owned asset sales legislation before the House will also will further weaken any oversight the public has.

“The Key Government has been very keen to make certain that the Official Information Act and the Ombudsmen’s scrutiny will no longer apply to our state owned assets.

“The public may never know exactly where the tens of millions of dollars for banking services, public relations and advertising went.”

Link to DPMC Best Practice Guidelines for Selecting Advertising and Media Agencies: http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/node/1004

ENDS

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