Government procurement principles require that probity in tendering is applied to all project procurements. The key issues of concern are that the following steps occur:
- probity is part of the process of procurement and permeates the whole tender phase
- when projects are identified as of sufficient complexity, risk or scale (>$10M) a probity plan is prepared and a probity advisor may be engaged
- there is evidence retained to support that probity issues identified were dealth with.
Where necessary a probity advisor or probity auditor shall review the process and certify as to the suitability of the tender, evaluation and award activities. Note that the probity advisor is not involved in the selection of the successful contractor but to attest to the suitability of the tender process.
Of particular interest will be that all tenderers are treated equally and fairly, that all material is kept confidential and that an audit trail of communications and decision-making is retained for proof of process.
A probity plan template is available from the Victorian Building Authority website for use on public construction projects. The probity plan template should be customised to take account of project specific risks, especially those identified in the project risk assessment, the procurement method risk assessment, project profile modelling or strategic procurement plan.