June 2011 | Adam Leach
sector bodies in Western Australia are ignoring the government’s procurement
policy, auditors have discovered.
The Office of the AuditorGeneral for Western Australia
has uncovered unsatisfactory buying practice, including the failure to source
appropriate quotes for services, poor controls for managing conflicts of
interest, unjustified use of exemptions from competitive tendering and
inadequate record keeping.
his assessment of nine government agencies, auditor general Colin Murphy found
seven had failed to consistently implement the government’s purchasing
MPs were told “agencies may be missing opportunities to get best value for
taxpayer dollars” when Murphy’s findings were published in the Publicsector performance report 2011,
and tabled in the Parliament of WesternAustralia yesterday.
document said 12 per cent of audited purchases involved exemptions to
competitive tendering. However, the auditor general said 22 per cent of these
exemptions did not satisfy government requirements for granting a sole source
of supply. Murphy concluded: “A value for money procurement could therefore not
auditor general also discovered that some agencies engaged with suppliers
without confirming key terms and conditions in writing, and did not have
contract databases showing deals worth more than AUS$20,000 (£13,284).
of the fundamental ways of ensuring transparency of decision-making is through
public reporting and yet five agencies failed to publically report on all their
procurement contracts over AUD$20,000,” said Murphy.
seven agencies not following policy were the Botanic Gardens and Parks
Authority, the Chemistry Centre Western Australia, the Department of Culture
and the Arts, the Perth Market Authority, the Subiaco Redevelopment Authority,
the Western Australian Institute of Sport and Western Power. The Department of
Water and the Department of State Development were the only two following
report also said “not all agencies had registers to record declared interests
and actions taken to mitigate them.”
has called on the public bodies to declare conflicts of interest, maintain all
records and increase public reporting where relevant. He said: “Parliament and
the community need to know that they are getting good value for their money –
and much more needs to be done to give that assurance.”
response to the report, all the public agencies said they had already taken
action to improve procurement practices or were working on implementing the
auditor general’s recommendations.