Procurement

Procurement profile

The majority of the Victorian Ombudsman's (VO's) budget is spent on employing the staff that assist the Ombudsman to carry out her statutory functions. Other major expenditures include office accommodation and information technology. The majority of non-wage expenditure is undertaken through State Purchase Contracts or via cost recovery based arrangements with other public sector agencies.
 

Procurement governance

VO complies with supply policies issued by the Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB). The Ombudsman, as the Accountable Officer under the Financial Management Act 1994 has approved a procurement governance framework for VO. The Assistant Ombudsman is responsible for ensuring procurement activity is undertaken in accordance with the governance framework and complies with VO and VGPB policy.
 

Procurement related complaints

In the context of procurement, VO applies the VGPB definition of a complaint as:
"An issue or concern expressed by a supplier, including a potential supplier, in relation to the process and probity applied by an organisation when carrying out a procurement activity."
Complaints regarding the process or probity of VO procurement activities must be lodged in writing to the:
Assistant Ombudsman
Victorian Ombudsman
Level 2 570 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Complaints may also be lodged by email to ombudvic@ombudsman.vic.gov.au. and marked to the attention of the Assistant Ombudsman.
Complaints must:
  • be submitted within seven business days of the issue becoming known
  • contain contact details for response
  • specify the breach of probity or process alleged
  • explain the consequence of the breach on the complainant
  • advise the desired outcome(s).
Complaints will be acknowledged within seven business days of receipt.
An initial assessment of the complaint will determine whether VO will:
  • investigate the complaint
  • attempt to mediate the complaint
  • decline the complaint because lodgement requirements have not been met.
If mediation is attempted and is unsuccessful, VO will reconsider the action to be taken.

Complaints that are accepted for investigation will be assigned to a senior officer with:
  • substantial investigations experience
  • knowledge of VO's procurement policies
  • no involvement in the concerned procurement process.
The investigator will:
  • inform the complainant of the anticipated time required to complete the investigation
  • review VO's file and any documents submitted by the complainant
  • interview witnesses (as considered necessary)
  • obtain any other evidence.
The time required to investigate a complaint will depend upon:
  • the nature of the complaint
  • the complexity of the investigation
  • the availability of the witnesses.
Most investigations will be finalised within 60 days of the complaint being received. Where this is not possible, the investigator will regularly update the complainant regarding the progress of the investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, VO will write to the complainant to:
  • explain the steps taken during the investigation
  • summarise the evidence obtained
  • state whether or not the complaint was substantiated, dismissed or was unable to be determined
  • state the action (if any) VO will take as a result of the investigation
  • explain the process available to the complainant for escalating the complaint to the VGPB
The range of outcomes available following the completion of the investigation include:
  • no action
  • providing an explanation for what has occurred
  • an apology
  • amending policies or procedures to improve practices in the future
  • terminating the procurement process (with the option of commencing a new process)
  • providing any other remedy that addresses the complainant's concerns.
The outcome may include more than one of the above options.
The complainant may escalate the complaint to the VGPB for review if not satisfied with the outcome. The VGPB requires complaints to be lodged by letter, email or fax within 10 working days of the receipt of findings to:
The Chair
Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Department of Treasury and Finance
GPO Box 4379
MELBOURNE VIC 3001