NBN Co freezes spending in wake of election uncertainty

Will not hire new staff until parliament resolves Federal Government deadlock

The National Broadband Network Company has put the freeze on some of its spending and will not hire any new staff until parliament has resolved its current deadlock over a new Federal Government.

In a statement issued this morning, the company (led by chief executive Mike Quigley, pictured) said in general it would continue to operate, as we as planning and using existing resources, but would seek to “minimise any discretionary expenditure” in the current uncertain period.

Labor and the Coalition are currently awaiting final election results and have begun negotiations with the independents and Greens MP who were elected over the weekend, as they jostle to attempt to form government.

The future of the NBN policy is currently up in the air, the Coalition having pledged to walk away from the project if elected — although the independents have broadly emphasised their support for better bush telecommunications in statements over the past few days.

NBN Co said it would not award any significant contracts or issue any new significant request for capability statements or proposals in the “post-election period”.

“Where appropriate NBN Co will postpone or suspend significant existing tender processes during the post-election phase, while in parallel extending current in-progress tender responses and decision deadlines for the same period,” the company statement said.

“Affected vendors will be notified. Conscious of NBN Co's potential suppliers' and vendors' costs during any tender processes, suppliers or vendors will have the option to delay participation or tender submission during the post-election phase and not be disadvantaged.”

The company will also suspend employee interviews and will not issue any new offers to potential employees, although it will honour any existing offers that it has formally made to candidates.

It will extend the response period for industry comment on several product consultation papers — some of which were issued over the past few weeks during the campaign period.

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Tags broadbandnbn coFederal Election 2010National Broadband Network (NBN)

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