From standing offers of mundane and inexpensive consumables to large scale and complex multi-stage procurements of expensive infrastructure the importance of appropriate probity and its planning cannot be overstated, but first, what is probity?
Probity and probity planning refers to the honest, accurate and transparent record keeping of decisions and processes used to ensure the ethical impartiality of agents and their involvement in the procurement cycle and to affirm the integrity of the project while still maintaining due confidentiality and addressing any conflicts of interest both real and perceived.
Conflicts of interest can arise at numerous points during the procurement cycle where personal relationships, improper gift giving, exploitation of position or any number of other situations may occur and have disastrous consequences, as such appropriate identification, documentation and mitigation of these situations are vitally important to protect the integrity of the project.
Now that we understand what probity is, why is it of utmost importance?
The importance of appropriate probity planning, beyond personal and organisational reputation, is that the use of public funds carries a substantial responsibility to the Australian people to ensure the policies of the commonwealth are upheld and each procurement is a step towards achieving the commonwealths’ goals.
As evidenced by The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) impartiality, encouraging equitable competition and achieving value for money is at the forefront of the commonwealths’ philosophy regarding procurement practices and as such maintaining rigorous probity is the safeguard against misconduct and makes the scrutiny of projects past and present possible.