Open Letter to MBE regarding COVID-19 procurement

28 July 2020

Carolyn Tremain
Chief Executive
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Brook Barrington
Chief Executive
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet


Dear Carolyn and Brook,

Government agencies have invested significantly in the last four months to respond to the COVID-19 emergency; we expected that this expenditure would be reported on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) in accordance with the Government Rules of Procurement (Rule 48):

An agency must publish the contract award notice on GETS within 30 business days of all parties signing the contract/s.

For procurements undertaken during an emergency, the Guide clearly states that the award of the contract should be published in GETS, albeit retrospectively, together with a clear statement that it was an emergency procurement.

We have prepared a schedule of the contract award notices relating to emergency procurements that have been published on GETS. We are pleased to see the leadership provided by DPMC, which has published a total of eight notices.

Carolyn, you will recall that we wrote to you in April setting out our concern that government maintain transparency of expenditure during the response to the pandemic. In that letter we encouraged you to remind all public sector leaders of their accountability. We are disappointed that this level of transparency has not been met. Only 13 contract award notices have been published on GETS, and none of them includes any indication of the contract value (which is required under the Procurement Rules).

We encourage you both to work with Chief Executives across government to ensure that their agencies meet the compliance standards in the Procurement Rules that have been mandated by Cabinet.

Kind Regards,

Julie Haggie
Chief Executive

Tod Cooper

Laurence Millar
Member with Delegated Authority
Open Government

Open Letter to MBIE re COVID-19 procurement TINZ

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