A dispute over the awarding of the ADF’s Middle East Air Sustainment contract has been resolved, with Adagold Aviation entering into a two year contract with Defence on October 22.
The contract was awarded following an investigation by the ADF’s Chief Audit Executive and an independent validation of the process by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It had been marred by allegations from incumbent contract holder Strategic Aviation that former Strategic executive and current ADF Army Joint Movements Group reservist member, David Charlton, had somehow influenced the outcome to favour Adagold.
“The contract represents a substantial improvement in value for money to the Commonwealth, with significant savings over the two year term of the contract,” reads a Department of Defence statement issued on October 22.
A further investigation into aircraft charter brokerage company Adagold’s financial viability and the selection process was conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the Australian Government Solicitor. “That assessment did not identify any evidence of bias in the process, any outside influence that could have compromised the overall selection process, or any reason that would suggest that the tenderer was not a fit and proper organisation,” the Defence statement says.
Adagold’s contract will commence on November 23, understood to be using Airbus A340-500 equipment leased from Hi Fly of Portugal.
Strategic meanwhile looks to be planning to use its A330-200 that had been used on the air sustainment contract to instead fly passenger services to Thailand.