Probity – auditable, accountable and transparent tender and contract management processes (Public Construction – Guidance 4.1.4)

This Guidance explains how the principles of probity relate to maintaining auditable, accountable and transparent tender and contract management processes.

Effective date: 1 July 2018

Objective: To outline auditable, accountable and transparent tender and contract management processes

Summary

Maintaining probity in procurement involves more than simply avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It means ethical behaviour that upholds Public Sector Values and ensures impartiality, accountability and transparency.

The probity-specific Directions and Instructions should be an ongoing reference at all points of a tender process and contract management.

This Guidance discusses the probity requirements for accountability and transparency in Public Construction Procurement.

Ensuring auditability, transparency and accountability

Accountability and transparency are fundamental to the work of Agencies and public officials.

Accountability means taking responsibility for the way particular duties have been performed. Accountability in procurement is being able to explain how the procurement has achieved its anticipated outcomes.

Transparency is about the openness of a procurement to scrutiny by interested parties, and relevant oversight bodies, such as the Victorian Auditor General’s Office. It involves providing documented reasons for decisions and giving appropriate information to relevant stakeholders and tender participants.

All records created or received in conducting a procurement activity, whether paper based or electronic, should be retained in an Agency's record keeping systems in line with the Agency's record keeping policies and procedures.

Processes and documentation should show that the Agency and individual procurement officers complied with legislation, regulations, Ministerial Directions, policies, codes, Agency procedures and plans specific to the procurement. Maintain records (Instruction 4.1.4) lists mandatory record-keeping matters.

The type and detail of information recorded will depend on the complexity or sensitivity of the particular procurement issue. However, where Agencies are making a decision that informs the conduct of the tender process - for example, how to handle a conflict of interest - ensure the decision is appropriately documented.

Useful resources

The red flags of corruption: procurement (Independent Board-based Anti-Corruption Commission (November 2015)

Describes strategies to mitigate risks in procurement

Tools and support

The Practitioners Toolkit includes key documents, guidance and information about the Ministerial Directions and Instructions for public construction.

For further information about the Ministerial Directions and Instructions for public construction procurement, please contact the Construction Policy Team.

Reviewed 23/07/2018
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