Policies and Probity
IPART Staff are required to comply with the NSW Government procurement policies and frameworks. IPART will monitor compliance through:
- Reviews of IPART financial data related to agreements and payments
- Reviews of the IPART Contracts Register
- Review of eQuote and eTender procurement events that could at some later stage be required for public disclosure
- Investigating reported instances of non-compliance.
Internal Audit reviews procurement process compliance across IPART as part of its Audit Program based on its annualised corporate risk assessment.
The Finance team supports the function of procurement and this manual by:
- Maintaining and promoting the Procurement Manual
- Maintaining and promoting the IPART Contracts Register
- Reviews and maintains contract disclosure for NSW Government Contracts against NSW Government disclosure rules
- Engaging with IPART internal stakeholders to better understand procurement activities and needs
- Communicating the value of good procurement practices via the Intranet, eMail updates and training, and
- Providing individual guidance regarding procurement matters as and when required.
The Code of Ethics and Conduct for the NSW Government sector applies to all employees, contractors, consultants, etc. It is based around four core values – integrity, trust, service and accountability.
In addition to this, the IPART Code-of-Conduct sits alongside the NSW Government Sector and addresses IPART specific requirements. IPART’s Code of Ethics and Conduct defines requirements and expected standards of behaviour of employees in their employment in IPART. The Code applies to:
- Persons employed in IPART under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013
- Consultants where their engagement requires adherence to the IPART Code of Conduct.
The IPART Code-of-Conduct for Procurement and Competitive Processes outlines IPART requirements for all persons, IPART staff and others involved in a Procurement Project. This must be signed and complied with by all staff and any other persons involved in the process.
The Confidentiality and Interest Declaration for Procurement Project must be signed by all IPART staff and others participating in the competitive process.
All Staff must be made aware that they must adhere to IPART’s Code-of-Conduct policy during a Procurement Project.
While contractors and consultants are not subject to disciplinary action, conduct assessed as being a serious breach of the Code-of-Conduct may result in their contract being terminated.
Contractors and consultants will be required to sign a Confidentiality Deed before the commencement of their employment. Anyone involved in an IPART Procurement Project that is the subject of a competitive process or direct negotiation should also sign a Declaration of Interests and Confidentiality Deed, as it includes a procurement-specific non-disclosure agreement.
- Corruption can occur whenever a person supplies or has access to resources or information, or has the responsibility for decision making. IPART has, as an integral part of its operation, prepared Corruption Prevention Procedures and training to mitigate this risk.
- Note under the section (2A) (a) Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 “Corrupt conduct” includes collusive tendering.
- NSW Procurement Board Direction 2012 – 02 prohibits the practice of ‘order-splitting’ which is inconsistent with the objectives of the government’s procurement policies. Staff must not intentionally split purchase requirements into either components or a succession of orders for the same or similar goods and services for the purposes of enabling them to be obtained.
- Suppliers must not request, encourage or facilitate the prohibited act of order splitting.
IPART’s ‘Risk Management Framework’ (the Framework) provides a structured and transparent approach to managing risk across IPART. The Framework provides a detailed methodology, built upon the principles inherent in the best practice risk management standards.
This Framework provides for a systematic and consistent identification, assessment and management of risk across IPART. The Framework also defines reporting processes to ensure exposures are managed at an appropriate level across IPART.
The Framework provides the necessary oversight and reporting on risk management practices within IPART which also includes the application of risk management controls to Procurement Projects.
A key component of the Framework is IPARTs Risk Management Policy. The Policy is approved by the CEO and is supported by the Audit and Risk Committee.
Staff are required to familiarise themselves and understand their obligations with respect to IPARTs Risk Management Policy.
IPART seeks to observe the triad of governance, fairness, and transparency in all its commercial engagements so as to ensure and maintain high levels of probity.
Government and all public officials must be able to demonstrate high levels of integrity in processes at all times in the pursuit of value for money outcomes for the NSW Government whilst also meeting the public interest.
Commercial engagements entered into by IPART for procuring goods and services as a result of a Procurement Project must be consistent with the following requirements to ensure high levels of probity, which is underpinned by the following:
- The Chief Executive Officer of IPART is responsible and accountable for the procurement of goods and services in accordance with the approved Delegations.
- The IPART Audit and Risk Committee provides assurance that governance issues have been appropriately and consistently managed during all stages of a Procurement Project.
- A Project Manager will be responsible for managing a Procurement Project from its initiation to completion (contract end) and,
- For high value projects and/or which attract high risk a Project Steering Committee may be established to provide project assurance.
- Where the risk and complexity associated with a procurement process is considered to be high, the Project Manager has the option of appointing a designated Probity Auditor and/or Probity Adviser to provide one or more of the following:
Independent assessment and/or advice throughout the procurement process as to whether processes are:
- Developed according to relevant NSW Government policies (including this policy) and where relevant Commonwealth legislation
- Managed according to the procurement process and the procurement plan, and
- Provide an independent and appropriate sign-off, at designated milestones in the market documents preparation and evaluation stages.
Security and Confidentiality
The process will ensure the security and confidentiality of intellectual property and proprietary information, to the extent allowed by law and government policies. Where relevant, IPART will specify a process for both IPART and the private sector for receiving and managing information related to a Procurement Project.
Conflicts of Interest
Throughout the duration of a Procurement Project, it is important to identify, declare and address any actual or perceived conflicts of interest. All IPART staff, including consultants and contractors, must disclose in writing to their immediate superior or other appropriate senior officer, any financial or other interest held by them immediately upon becoming aware that a potential conflict between personal interest and official duty, whether real or apparent, has arisen or is likely to arise.
Fairness and Impartiality
All IPART staff engaged directly or indirectly in a Procurement Project must at all times treat bids submitted and potential bidders in a fair and even handed way in terms of providing bidders with the same information and avoiding preferential treatment and being consistent with the approved procurement process and tender evaluation criteria.
Segregation of Duties
IPART will ensure at all time that there is a satisfactory and effective segregation of duties across the procurement process based on an assessment of the risk involved. Segregation of duties includes, but not limited to, the following:
- Separating Business Case submission from approval,
- Evaluation of Tender responses from approval,
- Requisition ordering from receipt/acceptance of supplies,
- Requisition ordering from payment of invoices, and
- Receipt/acceptance of supplies from the payment of invoices.
These are defined for IPART’s Core Executive Team, the IPART Project Manager, the IPART Procurement Manager and IPART staff.
IPART’s Core Executive Team
IPART’s Core Executive Team are to ensure that staff:
- Within their Industry areas of responsibility are made fully aware of the Procurement Manual and they then direct their staff to follow the prescribed procurement process for each Procurement Project
- Seek advice and guidance from the IPART Procurement Manager with respect to issues that may arise from time to time related to a Procurement Project
- Act at all times in the best interests of IPART in relation to any Procurement Project that they are participants in
- Are aware of the rules for Flow-on Engagements and prohibition of Order Splitting
- Ensure that professional conduct at all times fully aligns to the principles of the procedure with respect to ensuring probity and ethical behaviour
- Act upon reports of actual or perceived conflicts of interest
- Contribute to the ongoing enhancement of IPART’s procurement operation in terms of suggested improvements to processes and documentation
- Ensure that official records of all IPART Procurement Projects are stored in the RM8 system, including but not limited to:
- Business Case submissions
- Tender Documents
- Records of evidence and advice that supported decisions made throughout a procurement project
IPART Project Manager
The Project Manager will be responsible for ensuring:
- The completion of all of the required procurement stages of a Procurement Project – PLAN, SOURCE and MANAGE.
- The creation of folder in IPARTs RM8 system for each Procurement Project
IPART Procurement Manager
The Procurement Manager will be responsible for ensuring:
- That there is ongoing compliance and adherence to the approved IPART procurement process and policies.
- The implementation of and continued adaptation of the procurement process to:
- Support IPART’s changing operational requirements, and
- Provide procurement process advice changes to the Procurement Manual that fully reflect changes to NSW Government procurement policies and directives for the NSW Government Procurement Board
- Effective advice, guidance and support with respect to the initiation, implementation and outcome of each Procurement Project
IPART Staff are responsible for:
- Understanding the requirements and their responsibilities in relation to IPART’s procurement process for the supply of goods and services as detailed on the Intranet
The procurement activities are subject to the requirements set out in the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912, the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, Treasurer’s Directions, IPART’s delegation schemes and its policies and procedures for managing expenditure.
Delegations are powers delegated by the Premier or Agency Head (CEO of IPART) to public servants under legislation to perform financial and administrative functions on their behalf.
Procurement Delegation under the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912
- A procurement delegation is the authority conferred upon an individual who will ensure a specific procurement activity is conducted in line with policy and that risks associated with any proposed exception or deviation from policy are adequately controlled. For Procurement Delegations, see IPART Delegations.
In accordance with the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912 and NSW Procurement Board Direction 2013-03, IPART is authorised to enter into arrangements with suppliers for the procurement of goods and services.
- Financial Delegation under Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 ActFinancial delegations specify the amount of money that public servants are authorised to spend on behalf of the Department. Generally, the amount increases with an officer’s grade. The IPART Finance Delegations can be found on the XXXX