• Probity and accountability

    A public authority must be able to demonstrate to suppliers and the community that it conducts its procurement activities with high standards of probity and accountability [1].

    Probity requires that a public authority conduct its procurement activities ethically, honestly and fairly. Elements of a procurement culture that promotes and demonstrates high standards of probity include the following:

    • Expected behaviours are articulated and enforced.
    • Officers involved are skilled, knowledgeable and experienced.
    • Appropriate checks and balances are in place at various stages in the procurement process.
    • The concept of conflict of interest is well understood and strategies are in place to identify and manage potential issues.
    • Communication with suppliers is consistent and does not disadvantage or advantage one supplier over others.
    • Officers are not compromised in their ability to act, or to be seen to act, impartially.
    • Confidentiality of supplier information and evaluation processes is secure.

    Accountability requires that a public authority be able to publicly account for its decisions and take responsibility for the achievement of procurement outcomes. Elements of a procurement culture that promotes and demonstrates a high level of accountability include the following:

    • Responsibility for decisions is readily identifiable.
    • Adequate records are maintained to enable external scrutiny of decisions.
    • Compliance with Government and State Supply Commission policies.
    • Contract award details are made public as required.
    • Processes are in place to provide feedback to unsuccessful bidders and to manage supplier complaints.

     


    Footnote:

    [1] As required by Public Sector Commissioner’s Instruction No. 7 – Code of Ethics