Accurate recordkeeping is critical to ensuring the transparency of government procurement activities and accountability of procurement decision-making.
Thorough and accurate records are particularly important when managing complaints, requests for information from the public (eg GIPA requests), for auditing and compliance checks and in the event the procurement is subject to a legal challenge or review.
All procurement-related activities and decisions must be recorded and retained in compliance with your agency’s records management policies and the State Records Act 1998.
Examples of situations where you should make and save records and information include:
Meetings – make sure key meeting details are recorded, including time, place, who attended, discussion points, decisions, advice or information provided and actions to be taken.
Discussion or decisions – sometimes decisions or discussions are made via telephone, email, face to face or via messaging platforms. Key advice or instructions, permissions or consents, and commitments or agreements relating to the procurement should be recorded.
Procurement project documents – ensure all records relating to the procurement project are saved into your agency’s recordkeeping or business systems. This includes official documents such as briefing notes, approvals, the conditions of tender, specifications, response schedules, evaluation plan and report, recommendations to award, signed contracts and contract management records.
Drafts and working papers – key drafts need to be saved, such as drafts submitted for comment and drafts containing significant or substantial changes or annotations. Similarly, working papers which are used to prepare or complete other records need to be retained. These include working papers that document significant decisions, discussions, reasons, actions or contain significant information that is not included in the final version.
Emails and correspondence – ensure emails and correspondence relating to the procurement project and/or documenting significant decisions or approvals, are captured within your agency’s recordkeeping system.
State Records Act 1998
The State Records Act 1998 requires public offices to make and keep records that fully and accurately document their operations and administration.
The Act defines a State Record as any record made and kept, or received and kept, by any person in the course of the exercise of official functions in a public office, or for any purpose of a public office, or for the use of a public office.
State Records can be any type of records, being a document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form or on film, or by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any other means.
All records made or kept in the course of government procurement activities are State Records for the purposes of the Act.