Plan for probity

Understand how to plan for proper and ethical conduct throughout the procurement process.

What is planning for probity

Probity principles for procurement are set out at Principles underpin procurement.

Probity refers to uprightness, honesty, proper and ethical conduct and propriety in dealings.

Within Government, the word ‘probity’ is often used in a general sense to mean ‘good and fair process’.

Planning for probity may involve:

  • preparing a probity plan
  • monitoring the plan while procuring the need
  • monitoring the plan during the life of the contract

How to plan for probity

Step 1: Consider probity issues

Consider the probity issues surrounding the procurement.

See: Probity issues by stage and task

Step 2: Promote probity principles

Actively promote probity and ethics principles, so they become an integral part of day-to-day operations and decision-making.

Step 3: Is a probity practitioner needed?

Consider if a probity practitioner is needed for the procurement.

Probity practitioners may be:

  • probity auditor
  • probity advisor

If both roles are required for a procurement, the roles must be independent of each other.

Refer to Probity in Procurement – Goods and services procurement guide

In major projects, or complex or high-risk projects, it is a requirement to separate the functions of the auditor and advisor. 

If a probity practitioner:

  • is needed, go to Step 4.
  • is not needed, go to Step 5.

Step 4: Engage probity practitioner

A probity practitioner may be:

  • internal to an Agency, such as a staff member with knowledge of probity process
  • an external specialist engaged for the service

When engaging an external specialist:

Step 5: Probity plan for construction

Is the procurement public construction, with an estimated value of $10 million or more (inclusive of GST) or complex or otherwise high risk?

If yes, go to Step 6.

If no, go to Step 7.

Step 6: Prepare probity plan for construction

This step applies to public construction procurement only.

Follow the requirements set out in Probity plan (Construction Instruction 4.2).

Go to Step 9 Seek help to develop the probity plan.

Step 7: Probity plan for goods and services

Is the procurement goods and services and particularly large, sensitive or complex?

If yes, go to Step 8.

If no, go to Step 10.

Step 8: Prepare probity plan for goods and services

This step applies to goods and services procurement only.

Prepare the probity plan. If a probity advisor is required, they may prepare the probity plan.

Consult Agency procurement team to see if there is a standard template to use.

Step 9: Seek help to develop the probity plan

Consult with the following people as required to develop the probity plan:

  • Agency procurement team
  • probity advisor
  • project sponsor
  • users
  • subject matter expert

For goods and services see, Probity in procurement for details on what is included in a probity plan.


Manage probity and conflicts of interest

Manage probity – consider issues at Probity issues by stage and task.

Conflicts of interest can arise during this task. Identify, declare and manage these.

Address Agency rules

Consult Agency procurement team for advice on meeting:

Follow Agency specific rules on when to seek an approval and who can give the approval.

Follow Agency specific rules for recording decisions and storing records.