Practising Probity in Procurement: Compliance, Integrity, and Solutions that ‘Know’ Government

 In Blog, News, Supplier Management

With the West Australian Government recently announcing its intention to black ban any suppliers convicted of fraud, bribery or corruption, the importance of probity in procurement has been thrust into the spotlight.

According to WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt, the state government spends close to $27 billion per year on procurement – and these figures are the same, or similar, in other states across Australia. To manage procurement contracts improperly by facilitating supplier corruption, then, is to undermine the very purpose and function of government funding.

Last month, we wrote about laying the foundations for a fruitful, mutually beneficial supplier relationship. Establishing mutual trust at the outset was key ingredient number 1 – by verifying your supplier at the outset while providing them with the tools to manage their own contractual documents during this verification process, client and supplier needs can both be met. The second key ingredient, and arguably the most vital in ensuring success and probity across the contract lifecycle, was transparency.

Today, we want to dive a little deeper into the notion of client-supplier transparency, and unpack the role that contract management solutions can play in heightening probity and compliance.

Transparency should be paramount not only in the initial stages of the client-supplier relationship, but on an ongoing basis.

The nature of government procurement, and indeed procurement in many other sectors, demands the management of high-risk, high-value contracts – and with them, a variety of important decisions, activities, and communications, which if overseen poorly, can spell trouble for both parties. Even lower-value contracts present an element of risk, especially for local and state government departments seeking to safeguard the use of public funds.

With that in mind, a mutual commitment to keeping each party in the loop by sharing important information throughout the contract lifecycle can set the client-supplier relationship along the path towards success.

But when it comes to the high-stakes world of government procurement, the contract management solution that knows the ins-and-outs of government procurement and as such, facilitates the ideal digital environment for you to manage these intricacies, will be your trump card.

Your contract management solution should provide you with all the tools necessary for you to manage your contractual obligations – no matter how simple or high-risk.

Open Windows has helped over 50 Australian government departments meet their contractual obligations, and practice integrity and probity while doing so. This statement is not intended to act as a blatant sales pitch – it is merely stating the truth. Government procurement, especially local government procurement, is a strength of ours.

If you read our previous client-supplier blog post, you might remember that our Verified Supplier Network™ (VSN) allows you to immediately, and then continuously practice transparent client-supplier relationships. The VSN will allow you to understand who you’re dealing with at the outset, while informing you near-immediately if their status were to change at some point in the contract life-cycle, with an email alert. This is a contract management system working for you.

Each modular component of the Open Windows solution is designed to heighten compliance and facilitate communication, both internally and externally.

Our CONTRACTS Module provides high visibility of contractual commitments and documentation for clients and suppliers alike, and keeps both parties on top of deadlines with eAlerts. The PROCESSES Module ensures further adherence to government-specific regulations and procedures, by guiding users through required tasks and workflows.

Then there’s eTenderBox®, our eTendering Portal, which allows your organisation to maintain probity, security and compliance, and access full electronic audit logs, throughout sourcing phases. This provides organisations the defensibility they need, if ever questioned.

Beyond these features, our software is designed to be fully compliant with Local Government legislation for procurement, tendering, contract management, and even management of building and construction payment claims. By using the Open Windows solution, you ensure that your work complies with council-specific regulation.

Evidently, we are passionate about promoting probity within government procurement, and in other sectors. But our software merely facilitates an environment to practice and improve this characteristic. Practicing what you preach and ensuring your suppliers do the same, is vital.

Header image courtesy of Pixabay.

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