Procurement Guidelines for Victorian Public Hospitals and Health Services
Openness and Probity in Victorian Government Contracts
The Implementation Guidelines about Victorian Government contracts state that “all major public sector agencies and government business enterprises will be required to produce a statement on the processes they have adopted to deliver standards of probity and contracting at least as high as those required under VGPB guidelines”.
The key principles of probity are:
Adherence to these principles will ensure that the actions and decisions undertaken when funding or purchasing are defensible in a logical way.
Conditions of Funding
The Victorian health policy and funding guidelines 2011-12 sets out minimum standards and requirements on Procurement and purchasing requirements (Clause 2.2.6). All public hospitals must have regard to the government's overall disclosure policy and to document their own procurement and disclosure policies accordingly.
A central contract register should be maintained in all hospitals, and to manage risk effectively and efficiently it is recommended that all contracts are checked by a qualified legal practitioner prior to finalisation. All public hospitals must at a minimum adopt and deliver standards of probity at least as high as those required under Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB) guidelines.
Clause 2.2.6 of the guidelines also sets out mandatory requirements for health services to ensure Compliance with Health Purchasing Victoria policies and directions.
Victorian Government Purchasing Board Guidelines
Please refer to Victorian Government Purchasing Board Guidelines for more detailed information on procurement policies.
A public hospital must comply with each purchasing policy issued pursuant to Section 134 of the Health Services Act 1988 to the extent that it applies to the public hospital.
Department of Treasury and Finance Government Services Division – State Purchase Contracts
State Purchase Contracts (SPCs) are standing offer agreements used to purchase common use goods and services to provide more effective and efficient procurement. SPCs can be used and accessed by public hospitals and health services who commit to the requirements of the agreement.
Further information on the operation of SPCs can be obtained from Government Services Division - State Purchase Contracts
“Organisations that manage risk effectively and efficiently are more likely to achieve their objectives and do so at lower overall cost” (AS/NZS 4360).
As very few risks remain static, risks need to be monitored and assessed regularly to effectively manage, review any changes to risk priorities and to identify new risks. All Victorian Public hospitals should at the minimum annually review probity controls and risk management strategies in the procurement of clinical and non-clinical goods and services.
All public hospitals are required to maintain a risk register which should also separately identify and include financial risks. The risk register is central to the risk management strategy and should at a minimum document and identify each risk, the probability and level of seriousness, consequences, strategies to address the risk, and who is responsible for managing the risk.
Risk priorities on the risk register should also be assessed regularly, with high risk priorities reviewed at least quarterly (or more frequently and progressively dependant on the risk category and consequences).
The Victorian Government Risk Management Framework provides for a minimum risk management standard across public sector entities and should be used as a guide.
Code of Conduct for the Victorian Public Sector
Under Section 65S(2)(d)(l) of the Health Services Act public hospitals boards of management are required to 'adopt a code of conduct for staff of the public health service'.
The State Services Authority (SSA) has developed Codes of Conduct for the Victorian Public Sector and the Victorian Public Sector Employees of Special Bodies.
Public hospitals and health services are advised to adopt a code of conduct for staff of the public health service consistent with, and at a minimum equivalent to, that prescribed in the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees of Special Bodies.
Download the Code of Conduct for the Victorian Public Sector.
To access relevant legislation, visit Legislation Victoria