The Dubbo region's elected councillors did not have a hand in the awarding of the about $5 million contract for the rollout of smart water meters across the local government area.
It was carried out by the council's chief executive officer (CEO) Michael McMahon.
The Daily Liberal asked the council at which meetings councillors had resolved to call for tenders and award the contract.
A spokesman for the council responded with advice that Mr McMahon had been put in charge of the smart water meters tender and others.
"Insofar as questions re the tender going to council, in February 2018, council resolved that the CEO will hold a power of attorney and sign off delegated items under that power that would have normally gone to council, this includes tenders," he said.
"Given this project is not new and has been planned/funded for several previous years, it was progressed accordingly under the CEO's lawful direction as per the operational project it has always been."
On January 24 the council announced in a written statement that Taggle Systems had been selected "through a formal tender process" to install the smart water meters.
This week the Daily Liberal asked the council when and where the call for tenders for the project was advertised and how many were received.
"Insofar as the process, it was executed under Local Government Procurement panel arrangements (LGP908-3)," the council spokesman said.
"Local Government Procurement (LGP) operates under s55 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), allowing councils to utilise supply arrangements coordinated by LGP."
"Suppliers registered on the LGP panels are pre-vetted and pre-assessed to do work with councils, usually for specific industry/technical and capability requirements for which the suppliers undergo stringent vetting ahead of being invited on the panel.
"LGP conducts a full tender process for all contracts that form part of the panel."
The spokesman said the council sought proposals from available suppliers of smart water meters on the panel and received three responses.
At the Daily Liberal's request he revealed the value of the project was $4,898,120 excluding GST.
The council opened the smart water meters tender on October 28 and closed it on November 19 last year, the council spokesman said.
It is funding the project with ratepayer dollars in the "water and sewage budget".