Jag Leaderboard
Close this search box.

Probity cloud over Services Australia contracts, 19 worth $374 million “further investigated”

Probity questions have been raised after a senior federal official allegedly oversaw a decision to award government contracts to a consulting company part-owned by a long-standing friend, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Services Australia public servant also allegedly met the owners of the consulting firm, Synergy 360, for social drinks at one of their homes. 

The conflict of interest cloud comes amid the release of a review into 95 procurements that called for further investigation into 19 government contracts with a total value of $374 million.

The independent review into Services Australia and the National Disability Insurance Agency slammed the agencies’ use of limited or single supplier tenders.

Conducted by Dr Ian Watt, the Independent Review of Services Australia and NDIA Procurement and Contracting flagged the 19 projects as needing further investigation. A total of 95 projects were reviewed in total. Government Services Miniter Bill Shorten released the Watt Review on Sunday, 26 March 2023.

“Of the 95 procurements, 65 (with a value of approximately $220 million) were initially found to be broadly consistent with the CPRs and good practice,” the review states.

“Eleven procurements (valued at approximately $24 million) were found not to have complied with the CPRs (most commonly, by not meeting the requirement to report on AusTender within 42 days) but did not raise broader issues warranting further investigation (such as real or perceived conflicts of interest or a significant change in scope or scale).

Of the 19 procurements requiring further investigation:

  • 10 had insufficient conflict of interest documentation
  • 4 had insufficient risk considerations
  • 7 had insufficient records
  • 12 had unclear or insufficient value for money justification
  • 11 involved significant contract extensions or variations.

The report found two of these 19 procurements were found to have been broadly consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and good practice.

Scroll to Top

Contact Us