This week, the Australian Government House of Representative standing committee has been presiding over a an inquiry into government procurement practices.
It comes after Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, asked the committee to inquire into procurement practices for government-funded infrastructure in June 2021
According to the executive director of ANAO performance audit services, Brian Boyd, who gave evidence at the inquiry, reported that up to a staggering 60% of government contracting issued since 2010 has been closed or limited, possibly with as little as one entity being invited to tender.
Boyd gave evidence on a culture of loopholes used to avoid competitive tendering, whilst still being technically legal ,citing amongst other examples, the Western Sydney Airport land buy, in which a closed tender allegedly saw the Government paying ten times the land market value. An independent review of the transaction in May 2021, found no evidence of corruption.
Committee chair John Alexander noted the $110 billion infrastructure pipeline in the government’s economic recovery plan, and advised that improving the process is critical.
The Infrastructure investment programme is clearly an opportunity for the Australian Government to improve its legacy processes around open tendering, by publishing all of its tenders and contract notifications.
The Spend Network team have significant experience in analysing tender data, such as recent examples quantifying the value of global procurement, exploring European procurement around Covid, or examining the gender pay gap in UK government contracting.
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