The City of Sydney's says it is prepared to cancel its current outdoor contract tender which has been marked by delays and lack of competitive bids.
The tender is for the provision of street furniture, out of home and Wi-Fi services included the design, prototyping, supply, installation and ongoing operation of kiosks, toilets, shelters, communications pylons, seats and bins.
Launched in 2017, the tender has been contentious and fraut with difficulties, as "market conditions" and consolidation in the out of home sector have left Australia's largest OOH contract without a front runner.
Last month the city locked horns over outdoor giant JCDecaux's plans to upgrade Telstra's payphone network, with the OOH business looking to install further advertising panels alongside the booths.
The work on the payphone network has been an ongoing issue wth JCDecaux wanting to grow its digital advertising footprint through a deal with the telco.
In a report on the current tender, the council says that "inviting fresh tenders" isn't a reasonable response due to the lack of competitive tenderers.
"However, the outdoor advertising industry has been subject to major change in market conditions. The consolidation of several competitors and the introduction of digital advertising have affected the tender process," a statement from the City of Sydney read.
"Due to these changes in market conditions, City staff have recommended a cancellation of the current proposal for the contract, as we strive to achieve the best outcome and return of investment for ratepayers."
In July last year, the city called for renewed expressions of interest for the $500 million contract. The decision was thought to be the result of the poor quality of the first batch of expressions of interest (EOI).
At the time, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the council had “refined” contractual requirements following the first EOI as interested providers said they needed more time to respond because of the complex nature of the contract.
Councillors will discuss the report on Monday 6 May at the Corporate, Finance, Properties and Tender Committee with a final decision to be confirmed by Council on Monday 13 May.
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