GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS —
635. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the
Minister for Transport:
I refer to an announcement on 6 July by the Chinese state-owned
telecommunications company Huawei that it had been awarded the contract to
build and maintain the radio systems to deliver voice and data services across
Perth's rail network. According to its 6 July media statement, Huawei
will deliver the $136 million project on behalf of the Public Transport
Authority as part of a joint venture with UGL.
Why was there no official state government statement relating to this
significant contract on either the WA government media statements website or
the Public Transport Authority website?
(2) Given that
the government's own cabinet handbook states that politically sensitive
and policy issues with significant financial implications usually require
cabinet approval, why was the decision to award the $136 million contract to Huawei,
a company that has been red-flagged by Australian and other western
intelligence agencies as a security risk, not referred to cabinet?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the
honourable member for some notice of the question.
The contract award announcement for the radio systems replacement project was
made on the Tenders WA and Public Transport Authority websites on 6 July 2018.
Cabinet approval for the radio systems
replacement project, including funding, was given in the 2015–16 budget
process and was reviewed and endorsed by cabinet in subsequent budget
The PTA undertook the
procurement process to award the contract, calling for proposals and tenders
and undertaking the appropriate due diligence and probity processes, whilst keeping
the Minister for Transport informed as required. This process included seeking
and implementing cybersecurity advice from experts, including the relevant
The contract was
awarded to the joint venture selected by the PTA's procurement process
without the selection being endorsed by cabinet, consistent with what has been
the usual practice of the PTA under its legislation since its establishment in