The Federal Court has ordered Delta Building Automation Pty Ltd (Delta) to pay a penalty of $1.5 million for attempting to rig a tender at the National Gallery of Australia, in proceedings brought by the ACCC.

Delta’s sole director, Timothy Davis, who organised a meeting in a Canberra café in December 2019 to discuss the bid rig with one of Delta’s competitors, was also ordered to pay a penalty of $120,000.

These penalties follow the Court’s earlier findings that at that meeting Mr Davis, on behalf of Delta, offered to pay a competitor in exchange for agreeing to rig bids in a 2019 tender process conducted by the National Gallery of Australia for an upgrade to its building management system.

As the competitor’s general manager rejected Mr Davis’s offer, the attempt to rig the tender was unsuccessful.

“Attempting to bid-rig is a serious breach of our competition laws. This conduct in this case is particularly concerning, as it involved a tender for works being paid for with taxpayers’ money,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.

“This case should be a strong reminder to all businesses that engaging in any form of cartel conduct, including attempts that do not ultimately succeed, can lead to severe consequences.”

The Court also made orders restraining Delta and Mr Davis from communicating with any competitors about tenders for building management systems in the Australian Capital Territory for three years.

In addition, the Court ordered Delta to implement a Competition Law Compliance program, and to pay the ACCC’s costs in the proceedings.


On 13 May 2021, the ACCC instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against Delta and Mr Davis.

On 1 August 2023 the Federal Court found that Delta and Mr Davis attempted to rig a bid in connection with a tender conducted by the National Gallery of Australia for the replacement of its building management system.

A building management system is a computer-based system installed to manage and monitor a building’s equipment such as air-conditioning, ventilation, lighting, and power systems.

Bid rigging, also known as collusive tendering, happens when suppliers discuss and agree among themselves who should win a tender, and at what price.

Price fixing happens when competitors agree on pricing instead of competing against each other.

More information about different types of cartel conduct can be found on the ACCC’s website at Cartels

Notes to editors

The ACCC investigates cartel conduct and can take civil cartel proceedings in the Federal Court or refer serious cartel conduct to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

The ACCC works to detect cartels including through education programs, proactive intelligence gathering and data assessment and working with overseas counterparts to identify cartels that operate on a global level.

The ACCC also manages an immunity program that enables past or present cartel members to confess their actions and cooperate with investigations in exchange for immunity from civil cartel proceedings brought by the ACCC and criminal cartel charges laid by the CDPP.

Anyone who thinks they may be involved in cartel conduct is urged to call the ACCC Cartel Immunity Hotline on (02) 9230 3894. More information about the immunity process is available on the ACCC website at Cartels. They can also report cartel conduct by using the anonymous cartel portal

Public procurement officials who want to know more about detecting cartels are encouraged to contact the ACCC Cartel Outreach team at