6. Efficient, Effective, Economical and Ethical Procurement
6.1 The Australian Government promotes the proper use and management of public resources. Proper means efficient, effective, economical and ethical. For
non-corporate Commonwealth entities, this would also include being not inconsistent with the policies of the Commonwealth4.
6.2 Efficient relates to the achievement of the maximum value for the resources used. In procurement, it includes the selection of a procurement method that is the most appropriate for the procurement activity, given the scale, scope and risk of the procurement.
6.3 Effective relates to the extent to which intended outcomes or results are achieved. It concerns the immediate characteristics, especially price, quality and quantity, and the degree to which these contribute to specified outcomes.
6.4 Economical relates to minimising cost. It emphasises the requirement to avoid waste and sharpens the focus on the level of resources that the Commonwealth applies to achieve outcomes.
6.5 Ethical relates to honesty, integrity, probity, diligence, fairness and consistency. Ethical behaviour identifies and manages conflicts of interests, and does not make improper use of an individual’s position.
6.6 In particular, officials undertaking procurement must act ethically throughout the procurement. Ethical behaviour includes:
- recognising and dealing with actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest;
- dealing with potential suppliers, tenderers and suppliers equitably, including by
- seeking appropriate internal or external advice when probity issues arise, and
- not accepting inappropriate gifts or hospitality;
- carefully considering the use of public resources; and
- complying with all directions, including relevant entity requirements, in relation to gifts or hospitality, the Australian Privacy Principles of the Privacy Act 1988 and the security provisions of the Crimes Act 1914.
6.7 Relevant entities must not seek to benefit from supplier practices that may be dishonest, unethical or unsafe. This includes not entering into contracts with tenderers who have had a judicial decision against them (not including decisions under appeal) relating to employee entitlements and who have not satisfied any resulting order. Officials should seek declarations from all tenderers confirming that they have no such unsettled orders against them.
6.8 If a complaint about procurement is received, relevant entities must apply equitable and non-discriminatory complaint-handling procedures. Relevant entities should aim to manage the complaint process internally, when possible, through communication and conciliation.
Last updated: 08 March 2017