For the sake of transparency – An opinion piece
I have to admire the work the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) are doing in NSW. Their job of investigating and exposing corrupt conduct in the NSW public sector is to be saluted – after all it is public money and your community that corruption affects!
ICAC are to be congratulated on their doggedness in attempting to stamp out selfish behavior, or at least doing the best they can to eliminate this.
They cover both State and Local Government organisations. They cover all public sector agencies (except the NSW Police Force) and employees, including government departments, local councils, members of Parliament, ministers, the judiciary and the governor. ICAC’s jurisdiction also extends to those performing public official functions.
The real crux of my article however is not purely to congratulate ICAC on a marvelous and difficult job they do but to point out their job has developed into an endless battle due to the lack of “proper” eProcurement solutions that are in place to mitigate risk, bring transparency, prevent maverick spending, eliminate blown budgets, stop spending against non-preferred supplier or off contract.
I confess to having a commercial interest in eProcurement (as my organisation sells Proactis) but I am also passionate about improving the standards in Government by eliminating (or dramatically reducing) corrupt conduct, but also delivering “more for less” and creating a simple framework for best practice procurement in this sector.
Given these solutions are low cost, require a very short implementation timeframe and have been proven to work internationally, what is stopping them being implemented here in Australia? I mean back in 2008 Sir Peter Greshon advocated COTS solutions for procurement in his reform paper for Federal Government.
We’re not talking about world class procurement here, but at the very least getting the basics in place to deliver transparency and an effective procurement process.
The reason I am so passionate about this for the Australian public sector is because I hear about the problems faced by public sector employees and I know there are solutions that provide quantifiable results.
Sure, savings through proper procurement negotiations are important; after all we all want more for our money as a tax payer as well as the prevention of fraud, corruption, budget blow outs.
There have been a handful of early adopters but frankly for such a simple implementation and so little investment what is the hold up?
If it’s the desire to get back into surplus this is false economy, as the need to sometimes “spend to save” is required to eliminate the much greater problems currently faced on a daily basis. The alternative is to do nothing!
Now let’s save Australian tax payers some money, improve frontline operations and make ICACs role so much easier for the benefit of all Australians.