New Audit Committee inquiry into contract management is 'logical sequel to procurement, probity and ethics'

THE Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) has commenced an inquiry into the contract management frameworks operated by Commonwealth entities.

Chair of the JCPAA, Julian Hill MP, said, "Recent major inquiries into Commonwealth Procurement and Probity and Ethics revealed serious failings. Recent audit reports have highlighted similar issues ‘downstream’ of procurement in how agencies manage contracts once executed.

"The committee will examine whether the frameworks supporting contract management by various Commonwealth entities are fit for purpose to ensure project delivery.”

Mr Hill noted in this regard that “successful outcomes are very unlikely to be achieved from government procurement activities without effective contract management. This is therefore a vital capability for public sector agencies but one that commonly goes under the radar and is often lacking for a number of reasons".

"We will be carefully evaluating the levels of expertise, governance arrangements, record-keeping, performance measures, and policies and guidelines of a number of recently audited agencies with respect to their external contracts," Mr Hill said. "There are also ongoing probity issues which arise during the management of a contract and the committee will consider whether current frameworks and practices are fit for purpose.”

The inquiry will have particular regard to any matters contained in or connected to the following Auditor-General Reports:

Submissions to the inquiry addressing the  terms of reference are invited by Thursday, August 15, 2024.

Details of this inquiry – including the submissions received and public hearings – will be available on the inquiry website.



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