Inquiry into the Performance Audit of VAGO 2015-16
Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers
Clarification Two (13 January 2016)
The following points are made in respect of Conflicts of Interest:
1. The Performance Auditor is appointed under section 19 of the Audit Act 1994. In this regard, the ‘person” appointed must comply with all the provisions in that section of the Act. Section 19 (2A) is specific about who cannot be appointed as the Performance Auditor. References in this section are also made to sections 7F and 7G which must be read in conjunction with section 19 (2A).
2. The Evaluation criteria set out in the RFT includes an assessment of “Conflict of interest” (refer page 6 of the RFT Part A). In relation to this evaluation, it is critical that a tenderer provide full details of any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest associated with their engagement in providing the required services. These details provide critical information for the evaluation and assessment of tenders by the PAEC Tender Evaluation Panel. It is important to include information about any distinctions between the nature of the services provided and/or separations in staffing or other relationships, etc. which may assist in mitigating any perceived conflict of interest issues.
3. It is also important for the tenderer to include in the Offer, any mitigation strategies and processes which the tenderer has (or will put) in place to manage any actual or perceived conflict of interest in relation to the delivery of the required services.
Clarification One (12 January 2016)
Q1: Regarding 'Not associated or involved during the course of the performance audit an audit examination or consultancy in a department or agency in respect of which the Auditor-General has a statutory responsibility', indicate whether this requirement applies to the specific members of the team or also to their broader practices, where members of the broader practice not included in the bid to PAEC are undertaking a consultancy for a department of agency in respect of which the Auditor-General has a statutory responsibility?
A1: This requirement applies to the firm broadly.
Q2: Indicate whether a consultancy is defined as any sort of contractual service or is more narrowly defined and, if the latter, the extent of the definition?
A2: A consultancy is defined as: any professional advice, expertise or services provided to a department or agency for which the Auditor-General has a statutory responsibility.
Q3: Indicate the effect of this requirement effectively excludes performance evaluators unless they refrain from undertaking any work for departments or agencies in respect of which the Auditor-General has a statutory responsibility for the period of the Performance Audit?
A3: As to whether this requirement effectively excludes performance evaluators unless they refrain from undertaking any work for departments/agencies for which the Auditor-General has a statutory responsibility for the period of the Performance Audit:
- the requirement refers to an audit examination or consultancy;
- applies to the period of the performance audit (expected to be approximately 4 months);
- page 16 of Part B - Conditions of Participation of the RFT states that Invitees (tenderers) are required to disclose any conflicts of interest;
- page 70 of Part D - The Offer requires the tenderer to provide details of work being undertaken which may give rise to a conflict of interest but also to state strategies in place to mitigate against a conflict arising.
Q4: Indicate whether each and every team member must be a member of 'a leading Australian, Australasian or International organisation in the fields of auditing and/or consulting (with an emphasis on performance evaluation)?
A4: Page 5 of the RFT under Evaluation Criteria states: Membership of a leading Australian, Australasian or International organisation in the fields of auditing and/or consulting with an emphasis on performance evaluation. Tenders should state in their Offer details of the professional membership of all staff proposed to provide the required services (refer page 64 of Part D - The Offer).
Q5: Membership of the Australasian Evaluation Society meets the required membership threshold?
A5: The Australasian Evaluation Society would be considered as an acceptable professional membership/association.
Q6: The inclusion in the project team of former members of Parliament or current academics do not pose a conflict of interest?
A6: The RFT does not contain any specific exclusions in relation to the composition of teams involved in providing the required services. It is a requirement that a Curriculum Vitae of all staff being proposed to provide the required services are included in the offer.