Probity is often considered as the "integrity & uprightness" of a process. A pragmatic approach to probity means maintaining flexibility in a controlled manner within an acceptable and defensible probity framework. Procurement process conducted within a defensible probity framework that considers appropriate probity risks will ensure procedural integrity.
Probity has evolved over the years and effective probity management now is concerned with the policies, procedures, processes and systems used rather than the outcome of an activity, undertaking or project. It involves applying and complying with values and duties such as impartiality, accountability and transparency.
Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has recently released a white paper to reiterate the importance of establishing a robust procurement process that is formal, transparent and accountable where probity contributes to value-for-money, impartiality, removal of improper influence, accountability and transparency and confidentiality of the process.
The paper particularly articulates differences between a Probity Adviser and Probity Auditor and lists touchpoints in a tender process across:
- Tender Planning;
- Tender Lodgement and Opening;
- Bid Evaluation;
- Negotiation; and
- Awarding the Contract.
The paper further provides five-action steps to define a strong procurement function including:
- Robust governance;
- Formal business rules;
- Dissemination of business rules;
- Independent probity oversight; and
- Formal probity policy.
This report was published on 02 April 2020 by The Institute of Internal Auditors Australia.
Michael is a Director of the Risk Consulting division in Melbourne with over 24 years' experience in the accounting and risk management industry, specialising in Security & Privacy Services and Probity Assurance and Advisory Services. Both of these services reflect Michael’s focus on the security and integrity of information and related processes.