Wednesday 10 October, 2012
Tamworth Regional Council will call tenders seeking a consultant to provide services to its Water Enterprises Directorate for a period of three to five years.
Councillors supported the move after considering a report tabled at last night's Ordinary Meeting from Water Enterprises Director Bruce Logan which detailed the benefits to Council of the long-term engagement of one consultant in comparison to using a range of consultants on a project-by-project basis.
- A considerable reduction in the administrative time taken to write briefs and secure quotations for works;
- A greater likelihood of a lower `unit rate' for work undertaken because of the set volume of work to be undertaken and the associated certainty of the supply of ongoing work, and.
- A reduction in staff time taken to familiarise new consultants with Council's systems, arising from one consultant being able to increase their knowledge of Council's infrastructure and assets over time.
Hunter Water Australia is currently providing consultancy services to the Water Enterprises Directorate until February next year. It was awarded a tender in February 2008 for three years with an option for a further two years. The option to extend was exercised in 2011.
Mr Logan said in the report that 'a substantial amount of work has been completed' by Hunter Water Australia in the past five years and the arrangement has proven `very successful'.
He predicted more work was required in the short term due to `ongoing reviews and forshadowed new requirements from several government departments'. He listed eight possible `significant projects' including design and construction of the new Manilla Water Treatment Plant, upgrading of water and sewer treatment plants across the region and the upgrade of Dungowan Dam.
Mr Logan said the Water Enterprises Directorate has continued to struggle to recruit senior engineers, however there had been some success with securing more junior or graduate engineers for employment with Council during the past 18 months.
'Whilst internal resources are used, wherever possible, for the more day-to-day administrative activities and operational issues confronting the Directorate, the more complex issues . . . require specialised skills that are not necessarily available internally,' Mr Logan wrote.
The tender process is expected to start soon.