A key witness in an investigation into the Campbell Primary School modernisation project has denied making up a story to avoid responsibility for his actions.
A person with the pseudonym John Green returned to give evidence to the ACT Integrity Commission in its inquiry into whether education officials acted fairly and honestly during a tender process for a building project in 2019 and 2020.
Mr Green was the delegate for the project but from about May 2020 the Education Directorate director-general Katy Haire became the final decision-maker.
Mr Green wrote an executive brief which recommended Ms Haire select Lendlease over Manteena because of "long-term factors" despite Manteena scoring higher on the tender criteria and quoting a lower price.
Mr Green said he wrote the brief after a conversation with Ms Haire where she asked about whether she could make a different recommendation to that of the tender evaluation team in order to implement the "real intent" of the secure local jobs code.
Mr Green said he passed on the construction union's views about the two shortlisted contractors to Ms Haire. He said his view was that Lendlease was the better contractor.
"If I was the final decision-maker on that I would have accepted the second tender evaluation team's recommendation," Mr Green said.
Ms Haire's legal counsel, Kate Morgan, put to Mr Green that he had begun a "false narrative" about Ms Haire directing him to write a brief to go against the tender scoring since private hearings began in the Commission in May 2022.
"I didn't lie," Mr Green said.
Ms Morgan said: "And it was developed so you can avoid responsibility for your own actions in the period February to June 2020 in relation to this procurement, that's right Mr Green?"
Mr Green said: "I didn't, sorry, I think that's a negative question. So I didn't make up a story to avoid responsibility for my actions."
Mr Green said he could have been mistaken in his previous evidence when he said Ms Haire had been summoned to the Education Minister's office to discuss the Campbell Primary procurement.
Ms Haire did not recall being summoned for a meeting but had scheduled meetings with the minister.
Mr Green denied asking the first tender evaluation team to reevaluate the tenders, in contrast to evidence given by one of the members of that team, Kelly Young.
There are no more public hearings scheduled in this inquiry but the commissioner could recall witnesses. A final report on the investigation is not expected to be released until 2024.