The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has denied authorisation to Council Solutions and a group of five metropolitan Adelaide councils which had applied to jointly procure waste management services in Adelaide.
Council Solutions, Adelaide City Council, Charles Sturt, Marion, Tea Tree Gully, and Port Adelaide Enfield sought authorisation for 17 years to jointly procure the supply of waste collection, recyclables, organics collection and processing, and waste disposal services.
The ACCC received a large number of public submissions on the proposed arrangements, of which a large majority were strongly opposed. A key concern was that the scope and nature of the proposed joint request for proposal process would introduce an unprecedented level of complexity for bidders which would prevent some businesses from taking part.
“The ACCC received an extensive amount of public and confidential information from both the applicants and interested parties. This has allowed the ACCC to assess the potential benefits and detriments of the proposed conduct against the current situation where the participating councils individually procure their waste services,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“Overall, the ACCC is not satisfied that a joint procurement process would produce a public benefit that would outweigh the effects of a lessening of competition.”
“In this case, given the size and scope of the proposed conduct and the uncertainty about the possible outcomes arising from the request for proposal process, the ACCC is not satisfied that net public benefits are likely,” Ms Court said.
The decision is available: Council Solutions & Ors - Authorisation - A91520
Council Solutions is a Regional Authority established by a number of Adelaide councils.
Notes to editors
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment constituted by any lessening of competition. The ACCC conducts a comprehensive public consultation process and issues a draft determination before making a final determination to grant or deny authorisation.
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