Page 932 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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The government and relevant directorates worked constructively with the Auditor-General and the ACT Audit Office throughout the performance audit. The ACT government continually monitors and works to enhance the ACT government’s procurement framework, which is the hierarchy of whole-of-government procurement related legislation, statutory instruments, policies, schemes, guidance, fact sheets, tools, templates and systems that support territory entities to undertake procurement.

This work is ongoing and, while it has synergies with the audit report, it is broader than the formal response to the audit report. As part of this proactive work to strengthen the current system, the ACT government published the Probity in Procurement Guide in January 2021. Furthermore, new and updated guidance on various topics, including risk management, value-for-money considerations, calculating whole-of-life costs, and conflicts of interest, were released in January 2022. This material, which is available on the ACT government’s external-facing procurement website, aims to assist officers undertaking procurement as well as the broader public to better understand the procurement framework.

A supply complaints management procedure has been established for consistently managing supply complaints about the conduct of territory procurement. The procedure is designed to provide an effective and efficient process for managing supply complaints relating to the acquisition stage of procurement activities, and it is consistent with free trade obligations relating to judicial review.

The ACT government is committed to making continual improvements to ensure public and industry confidence in procurement processes. As part of delivering on that commitment, an independent review of the operational performance of Procurement ACT was conducted 2021. The review was led by Ms Renee Leon, supported by the Strategy and Transformation Office in the Chief Minister, Treasury, and Economic Development Directorate. A copy of the review report is provided with this government response. This review was commissioned to identify areas for improvement in support provided by Procurement ACT to ACT government directorates undertaking procurements.

The review makes eight recommendations in response to these findings, which focus on clarifying roles and responsibilities, leveraging whole of government data and procurement activity to achieve better procurement outcomes, modernising systems and streamlining processes, and making advice and support easier to access, and ensuring Procurement ACT has the workforce capability to provide that advice and support. It acknowledges that Procurement ACT has processes already underway. Stemming from previous reviews and client feedback, there were some of the recommendations made.

Together with the recommendations of this and other audit reports, the findings and recommendations of that review are being used to inform the development of a whole-of-government procurement reform program. This will focus on supporting ACT government procurement activity to be robust, transparent and effective while also being streamlined and efficient. CMTEDD is currently in the process of preparing a detailed work plan for this reform program, and this will be publicly

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