Page 933 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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released in June 2022. The procurement reform program is in addition to our ongoing review and improvement of the procurement framework.

The government takes seriously our obligation to undertake procurements efficiently, transparently, and in ways that promote and maintain community confidence that value for money is being achieved. We have already taken significant steps to update and strengthen the ACT’s procurement framework where external advice has flagged the need to do so. We are currently working on a focus reform work plan to boost procurement capability across government and ensure that directorates receive the best quality support from procurement ACT. I welcome the scrutiny of this Assembly and its members on this work. And we will continue to provide updates as it progresses in the months to come.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (3.02): The ACT government welcomes the Auditor-General’s Performance Audit Report into the Campbell Primary School modernisation project procurement, as part of robust and clear accountability and transparency frameworks for the ACT government.

Audit processes are an important part of accountability and transparency frameworks of the ACT public service. It is also important that procurement of school infrastructure is appropriately subject to scrutiny and audit processes to ensure both value for money and effective public administration. The government has welcomed the recommendations provided by the Auditor-General and acknowledges the need for robust supporting documentation on decision-making.

Government procurement and regulatory decisions must have a high degree of integrity and transparency. Canberrans are entitled to know that public money is being spent to deliver the services that they need in a way that is ethical and transparent. The ACT government uses its purchasing power to support the local and regional economy and to promote important social values, like protecting the environment, and promoting safe and secure employment. It is therefore important to ensure that any procurement processes are fair, open and undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the legislation.

The ACT government has agreed, or agreed in principle, with all six recommendations from the Auditor-General’s report. The relevant directorates have worked cooperatively with the Auditor-General and the ACT Audit Office through the process. The government response demonstrates a commitment to listening when suggestions for improvement are made and taking action to implement change. This report and response will result in a stronger procurement system and better implementation of that system in every directorate. These changes mean that Canberrans can continue to have confidence in the government procurement decisions.

Continual review and a willingness to implement new procedures is a key part of maintaining public confidence. The government has been hard at work ensuring that

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