26 September 2023

Integrity watchdog has ears to the ground

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The ACT Integrity Commission has asked businesses in Canberra’s building and construction industry to share any information they have relating to suspected improper conduct in ACT Government procurement processes.

According to the Commission a recent report by the Auditor-General found that a procurement process for a Primary School modernisation project lacked probity and the ACT Education Directorate did not deal with the tenderers fairly, impartially and consistently.

“The Auditor-General highlighted repeated departures from consistent recommendations of the tender evaluation teams about the superior bid, resulting in another, otherwise unsuccessful, tenderer being offered the contract,” the Integrity Commissioner, Michael Adams (pictured), said

“The Auditor-General also found that the overall process did not comply with proper practices and gave rise to unidentified conflicts of interest and communications with tenderers that were not appropriate, controlled or adequately documented.”

Mr Adams said that while the Auditor-General concluded that probity was not demonstrated in the procurement process, his task was different from that of the Integrity Commission.

“The Auditor-General examines a process to assess whether it met appropriate standards of governance,” Mr Adams said.

“The work of the (Integrity) Commission, on the other hand, is to examine whether circumstances that raise the possibility of impropriety also amount to corrupt conduct.”

He invited businesses that had tendered for ACT Government contracts to contact his Commission if they reasonably suspected corrupt conduct had occurred, or was occurring, in Government procurement or in any relation of the ACT public sector’s operations with which they had been involved.

“We want to hear from you,” Mr Adams said.

He said the process for making reports to the Commission was explained on the Commission’s website at www.integrity.act.gov.au.

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