NSW DPI unable to award tender for representational rec fisher organisation
EARLY in 2018 the Recreational Fishing Alliance and one other company put in a bid to win a tender from NSW DPI to provide “delivery of sector representation, consultation and communication services to the recreational fishing sector.”
According to an article in the RFA newsletter, the RFA has been lobbying for the past few years for the establishment of a funded representative body. This was approved and funding allocated by the Recreational Fishing Trusts and Recreational Fishing NSW in 2015. The establishment of a representative body was an election promise by the Nationals leading up to the last NSW election.
The Request for Tender (i.e. the invitation from the DPI for interested parties to tender) was finally issued publicly on December 1, 2017, and closed on February 9, 2018. The main purposes of the project were to provide communication services between DPI and fishers or a broad range of agreed issues, and to investigate how to operate such a service in a self-sustaining way into the future. It was to operate over 1 to 2 years, depending on the success or otherwise of the key tasks.
DPI's choice of an approved tenderer was supposed to be made by March 9, 2018, and “supply of services” was mean to commence on March 30, 2018. None of the decision-making or implementation dates were met. The tender theoretically lapsed after 6 months on August 10, 2018. But in August DPI extended the deadline and postponed the decision by 2 months, and then on 5 October postponed it for another 4 weeks.
On November 23, 2018 DPI informed the RFA it has decided not to award the tender to anyone at all.
A NSW DPI spokesperson said "the NSW DPI has followed a strict procurement process. Recreational fishers and organisations can be assured that due diligence was carried out. In this case, DPI was unable to award a tender".
For its part the RFA says that the failure to award the tender means that, once again, volunteers have to shoulder the load to help to secure the future of fishing in NSW.