Department of Finance

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.



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


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