23 Jun 10 by Bianca Carmona
THE Victorian Ombudsman has slammed the Department of Human Services’ handling of the Kew Cottages development.
Ombudsman George Brouwer’s scathing report found the department had “poor record-keeping” and conflict-of-interest issues were “neither well handled, nor understood”.
“The Department of Human Services was unable to provide the central file that should have contained the conflict-of-interest declarations as it could not be located,” Mr Brouwer said.
He found heritage issues were “not handled well” and led to “significant delays” in the project.
Despite the flawed handling of the case, Mr Brouwer found “no reason to believe that preferential treatment was given to any bidder in this process”.
The report, released together with an investigation into the St Kilda Triangle debacle, made 18 recommendations to the State Government, including around contract processes.
It recommended that the Department of Human Services and Major Projects Victoria “review their file management practices in relation to procurement processes to ensure the standards meet the requirements of the Public Records Act 1973”.
>> Read more about the report in next week’s Progress Leader.