Transparency Times June 2017

Preventing corruption in procurement

Janine McGruddy, CEO TINZ

Fresh off the heels of the latest budget it is always a good time to think about how that money will be spent—no, not the extra $10 per year in your pocket, but the approximately $30 billion to $40 billion on goods and services, including infrastructure, spent by the New Zealand Central Government on procurement each year.

Procurement is a process where transparency and implementing strong integrity systems is paramount. So important in fact, that integrity and trust are listed first in the role and person characteristics of the core competencies for all levels of the New Zealand Government Procurement Competency Framework. As a reminder, seven actions needed to prevent bribery and corruption are listed below. We hope to make progress on procurement best practice this year and to that end, we are delighted to welcome Tod Cooper to our Board as the TINZ Delegated Authority for Procurement.

Preventing corruption and strengthening integrity in procurement

Tod Cooper

Tod Cooper

Tod is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), which is the global gold standard for procurement professionals. He has a strong background in both Government and the private sector. His passion for procurement is about challenging the status quo and creating a wider commercial value where traditionally only cost savings were the objective.

Since joining CIPS in 2012, Tod was voted to Regional Chair in 2014 and most recently as National Chair in 2016. Tod recognises that developing awareness and implementation of global best practice and ethical procurement across our public and private sectors is important for New Zealand’s reputation in the global free market.

Seven actions to preventing corruption and strengthening integrity in your organisation

  1. Tone at the top: Leadership committed to integrity—essential to your organisations integrity culture. This is where Boards need to be educated to take this aspect of leadership appointments very seriously.
  2. Code of conduct and guidelines continuously improved—this must be a living document and they can vary wildly in terms of quality. Contact me if you would like to see what exemplary looks like.
  3. Corruption prevention communication and training—as part of induction then refreshed annually. Does your organisations Annual Report mention this as a valued activity?
  4. Knowledge of relevant legislation/regulation—ignorance is not excuse when it comes to prosecuting breaches in court.
  5. Avenues for reporting breaches in ethical standards—whistleblowing, an area sorely needing to be taken seriously by organisations. Whistleblowers are loyal employees—they deserve to be listened to and protected.
  6. Due diligence of distributors agents, joint ventures—know who you are doing business with—escalate any concerns about their behaviour.
  7. Regular risk assessments that uncover corrupt practice—without a clear vision of its own specific corruption risks, an organisation’s corruption prevention efforts may fail to protect it.