04 Dec 2019

Implementing ‘knowing what good looks like’ recommendations for WA public sector will require expert consultation

press release, advocacy
Implementing ‘knowing what good looks like’ recommendations for WA public sector will require expert consultation

Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) welcomes the findings of the WA Public Accounts Committee Report released on the 28th November 2019 but warns that reforms can only be achieved by an ‘all of Government’  approach to new governance and process standards.

While agreeing to the 42 findings and 30 recommendations within the report, AIPM believes it is essential that consultation is undertaken with professional bodies, such as AIPM, when implementing standards across agencies. The recommendations for consistent monitoring and project reporting standards are a major step forward in ensuring compliance, and consultation on how to implement standardised reporting processes across agencies is now required and should also consider the systematic reporting failures of major projects cited in the report.  
AIPM believes that key Recommendations (3,10, 16, 17, 20 24, 25 and 27) are in line with community expectations for greater transparency for the state and greater contract management accountability.
AIPM advised there may be the need for organisational structural reform in Government procurement to separate the regulatory role of enforcing processes within agencies and the service providers for agencies that do not have the resources, skills or commercial acumen to enter into complex contracts.
‘This particularly impacts building and infrastructure construction contracts where a specialist works agency is always going to be needed to provide an interface between the construction industry and agencies with core business other than construction’, says Mr Peter Tilley, President of the WA Chapter of AIPM.
‘There needs to be a commitment to providing sufficient level of detail and examples to ensure the intent of the reform are well understood by all parties to contracts, Mr Tilley said.
AIPM also believes it is imperative that the Procurement Competency Matrix and the training programs that the Department of Finance implement must be transparent to the private sector contractors to ensure a common understanding exists on both sides of the contract, acknowledging a collaborative approach to achieving the contracts objectives is highly desirable over an adversarial model.
Furthermore, the recommendation for better risk management and accountability needs to accommodate “fair risk allocation” in Government contracts across the board as the trend of pushing unmanageable or unenforceable risk to the private sector causes increased and unnecessary cost of services. Unfair risk allocation also increases the number and complexity of disputes or limits participation in the procurement process by the private sector.
The WA Government Public Accounts Committee Report is hosted on the WA Govt website and can be accessed at Knowing what good looks like – Challenges in managing major public sector contracts

View the full AIPM response to the WA Public Accounts Committee Report by clicking the button below.


Peter Tilley WA Chapter President of AIPM, and Elizabeth Foley, CEO of AIPM are available for comment on request.

Media Contact:
Marcus Sandmann
Chief Marketing Officer
Australian Institute of Project Management
P: +0411 877643
E: msandmann@aipm.com.au