Poor project implementation and stakeholder management has resulted in significant delays, cost overruns and has damaged the government’s reputation.
The Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market is being relocated from its current site in Footscray to a new site in Epping. The new market will cost more than double its original cost and is expected to be open in 2014–15, six years after its initial planned opening date.
The initial project planning and governance arrangements for the relocation were sound. However, poor project implementation and stakeholder management has resulted in significant delays, cost overruns and has damaged the government’s reputation.
A number of significant changes made during the project, including changes in administrative responsibility, project scope and changes to the delivery strategy, operation and ownership of the market, have adversely affected the achievement of its objectives.
These changes created risks for the project that were not well managed. Specifically the business case, governance arrangements, the project implementation plan and project financials were not updated on a timely basis to reflect these changes.
A number of probity matters in relation to the trading floor procurement cast doubt on the fairness of the procurement process. Major Projects Victoria’s practices showed an inadequate understanding of the importance of demonstrating probity and transparency in public sector procurement.
Furthermore, the tender only attracted one fully costed, adequately supported, reasonably priced tender that met Major Projects Victoria’s contractual requirements. Along with poorly considered decisions made during the procurement process, this is likely to result in the government paying more for the trading floor than it should.