For the record: tenders for public artworks

Council is currently considering tenders for artworks in and around George Street, after receiving nearly 700 proposals from 25 countries. A decision on the tenders will take place at Monday’s council meeting.

The artworks will become public on Tuesday morning after Council has made its decision and informed the successful and unsuccessful artists.

ICAC is very clear about confidentiality in relation to tenders. These rules are also reflected in tendering guidelines for NSW Local Government.

Those guidelines ensure that all tenders are confidential until they have been approved by a full meeting of council. Councils must not disclose tender information received from tenderers that is intellectual property, proprietary, commercial-in-confidence or otherwise confidential, without their prior consent.

In addition, council staff or councillors must not disclose information regarding the specific details of a tendering process, including a recommendation of the tender evaluation or assessment panel before the outcome of the tender has been determined.

The community will get the opportunity to have their say. All three projects will need development applications and heritage approvals. These are public processes and the art works will be exhibited for public comment.

The City has a strong track record of delivering iconic and engaging public art.

To ensure Sydney has the highest quality public artworks, the City established the Public Art Advisory Panel – a group of seven highly-recognised specialists. Council unanimously reappointed the panel in October last year.

The panel consists of Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah, Professor of Architecture at UNSW Richard Johnson, artist Janet Laurence, curator Anne Loxley and City of Sydney Design Director Bridget Smyth.

Internationally renowned curator, Barbara Flynn, is the City’s CBD curatorial adviser and works with the panel and was appointed by Council.

In keeping with normal practice, the panel looked at all 700 proposals for the artworks, came up with a shortlist of 10. The panel then unanimously selected three of those artworks for final approval by Council.

The City has been consulting with the community on its public art strategy since 2011. The development of the artworks is expected to take three to seven years, and will complement the NSW Government’s Light Rail Project.

Last updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014