ANAO investigates confidentiality in government contracts

The Australian National Audit Office has released its report on confidentiality in government contracts, recommending a review of procurement reporting requirements.

The audit assess the appropriateness of the use and reporting of confidentiality provisions in Australian Government contracts.

It included an assessment of compliance with the Senate Order and followed up on the implementation of recommendations made in previous Senate Order audits.

The audit examined a stratified random sample of 150 contracts managed by 33 agencies and listed as containing confidentiality provisions.

It also examined contract listings from all FMA Act agencies for the 2009 calendar year and ministers’ letters of advice to assess compliance with the requirements of the Order, and check reported instances of excluded contracts.

The ANAO made two key recommendations.

“To assist agencies to provide more accurate, timely and complete procurement reporting, the ANAO recommends that the Department of Finance and Deregulation review opportunities to consolidate procurement reporting requirements, in conjunction with the department’s continuing focus on improving AusTender functionality,” the report stated.

“The ANAO recommends that agencies assess whether their contract preparation processes support adequate consideration of the appropriate use of confidentiality provisions in contracts.”

Download the audit report: Confidentiality in Government Contracts [PDF]

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