How do you eliminate unconscious bias for government job applicants with a criminal history or adverse credit background? New 'ban the box' rules beco
Even the office of Victorian privacy commissioner David Watts has accidentally used CC, when they should have used BCC...
Department of Defence secretary Dennis Richard isn't going quietly. Due to retire within months, the infamously gruff mandarin made it clear to staff
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features ‘Governments need to invest more in contract management’
Text size :
TAGS Management, Technology, Procurement, contestability, Contract management
Finding an appropriate balance between efficacy and accountability in procurement is a challenge faced by many public servants. The Mandarin spoke to the experts about harnessing innovation while avoiding legal and political risk.
Sitting down with new providers for up to six months and taking a more cautious approach may not seem like innovation, but government procurement is risky for everyone. Especially if the depth of understanding isn’t there, say experts on both sides.
Governments need to invest more in contract management skills and innovative procurement, argues PwC partner Adrian King. Without this investment an aversion to risk will continue and easy, less productive procurement decisions will continue to be made. As service delivery tendering moves gradually towards commissioning outcomes, rather than describing how the outcome is to be delivered, many departments find this concept difficult to navigate.
The reasons the public service sometimes fails to avail itself of innovative practices, thinks King, are twofold: attitudes towards risk management and the “relative immaturity of contract management within government”. While public servants will often be punished for failure when trying new things, he says, “there’s usually not a lot of reward for getting it right or taking a risk.”
King, who sees both sides of the process — PwC consults to government agencies going to market and is also involved in winning contracts — believes contract management is “an under-invested skill set” within government.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He's previously written for The Guardian and Crikey and holds a masters in international relations.
Read Related Content