November 27, 2022
Two months after being hauled over the coals by the Australian National Audit Office, the Digital Transformation Agency has told a parliamentary committee it is reviewing all current contracts and a sample of historical contracts. The reviews were revealed in the DTA’s submission to the Joint Public Accounts and Audit committee inquiry into Commonwealth procurement.…

Two months after being hauled over the coals by the Australian National Audit Office, the Digital Transformation Agency has told a parliamentary committee it is reviewing all current contracts and a sample of historical contracts.

The reviews were revealed in the DTA’s submission to the Joint Public Accounts and Audit committee inquiry into Commonwealth procurement.

The ANAO’s audit of the DTA called the agency “ineffective” and said its handling of some contracts fell “short of ethical requirements”.

The ANAO’s ninth recommendation was that the agency “strengthen its internal guidance and controls to ensure officials do not vary contracts”, something that’s put all current contracts under the spotlight.

“The DTA corporate procurement team is currently reviewing all significant contracts to ensure these contracts are being managed effectively”, the agency’s submission said.

The DTA also said it “will monitor and report on behaviours in the context of risk that do not present as consistent with ethical requirements”.

Reviews of historical contracts will aim to identify “potential areas of deficiency in procurements not sampled by ANAO”.

Contracts will be chosen in two ways: staff raising procurements within the last 18 months that “may benefit from a retrospective assessment”; and contracts “with similar risk characteristics” to those sampled by the ANAO.

Those risk characteristics include “high value procurements; limited tender issues and high levels of contract variation”.

A range of other governance enhancements, including centralised controls over procurement, are detailed in the submission.

The submission also revealed that a historic overpayment of $380,000 to a consultancy – identified by the ANAO audit – will be repaid under a 12-month repayment plan agreed to in October.

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