UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS

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1 UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS GUIDE FOR SUBMISSION AND ASSESSMENT January 2012

2 CONTENTS 1 PREMIER S STATEMENT 3 2 INTRODUCTION 3 3 GUIDING PRINCIPLES OPTIMISE OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT CRITERIA PROBITY RESOURCE COMMITMENTS GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT MONITORING 7 4 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES DEPARTMENT OF PREMIER AND CABINET STEERING COMMITTEE GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL MANAGER ASSESSMENT PANEL INFRASTRUCTURE NSW PROPONENT AFFECTED AGENCIES ADVISERS PROBITY ADVISER 10 5 THE PROCESS INTRODUCTION STAGE 1 INITIAL SUBMISSION AND STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT STAGE 2 DETAILED PROPOSAL STAGE 3 NEGOTIATION OF FINAL BINDING OFFER 13 6 PROCESS FLOWCHART 15 7 DIRECT APPROACHES BY GOVERNMENT TO INDUSTRY 16 8 GLOSSARY OF TERMS 17 9 PROBITY FRAMEWORK 19 2

3 1 PREMIER S STATEMENT The NSW Government is determined to deliver the change the people of NSW have called for to rebuild our State and make NSW number one. Work is well underway to rebuild the economy, return quality services, renovate infrastructure, strengthen our local environment and communities, and restore accountability to government. Responsible economic management requires sound strategic planning coupled with rigorous fiscal discipline. To this end, the NSW Government is seeking to engage with the private sector in the development and delivery of new infrastructure and services. The NSW Government will encourage the best ideas and solutions from the private sector and a greater level of private sector investment and participation in projects, with rigorous planning and costing to deliver the highest standards of public value and confidence to investors and the community. The Guide for Submission and Assessment of Unsolicited Proposals outlines a transparent and streamlined approach that will facilitate the NSW Government and private sector working together to develop and deliver innovative ideas. Its key objective is to provide consistency and certainty to private sector participants as to how their unsolicited proposals will be assessed within a transparent framework with key drivers for the NSW Government being how the proposal helps meet a strategic Government objective and value for money. 2 INTRODUCTION The NSW Government procures projects, goods and services by two broad means direct tendering through a competitive process or direct dealing with the private sector. Under the competitive tendering process the Government proactively invites tenders for projects, goods or services. This is the predominant form of procurement. In a direct dealing arrangement the Government may be approached by the private sector with an Unsolicited Proposal or it may directly approach a private sector entity to deliver a significant project or service. This Guideline does not address the procurement of those goods and services covered by the Public Sector Employment and Management Amendment (Procurement of Goods and Services) Act Government is seeking to capture innovative ideas from industry that provide real and tangible benefit to the people of New South Wales. Government will consider directly negotiating with an individual or organisation that presents an Unsolicited Proposal (see Glossary) where circumstances support this approach and at its absolute discretion. Further, Government may determine that it is appropriate for it to directly approach an organisation to undertake a project if that organisation is clearly best placed to meet the required Government outcomes. This Guide sets out the processes to be followed by both Government and Proponents in developing Unsolicited Proposals or Direct Approaches. It represents commitment by Government to the allocation of resources to meet its responsibilities as outlined in this Guide. Direct Approaches are addressed in section 7 however the Guide focuses primarily on the development and assessment of Unsolicited Proposals. 3

4 A three stage assessment process has been developed to guide the evaluation of proposals. This is described in detail in section 5. The process involves: Stage 1 - Initial Submission and Strategic Assessment includes a comprehensive initial assessment of the proposal to identify the potential benefit to Government of further consideration and development with the Proponent. The outcome is advice to the Proponent of progression to Stage 2, or that the Government does not wish to proceed. Stage 2 - Detailed Proposal requires the Proponent and Government to work cooperatively in the development and assessment of a Detailed Proposal. The outcome is advice to the Proponent of progression to Stage 3, or that the Government does not wish to proceed. Stage 3 - Negotiation of Final Binding Offer involves the finalisation of all outstanding issues with a view to entering into a binding agreement, should the Government accept the final offer. It is recognised that a Proponent will be entitled to a fair rate of return for its involvement in a project and that outcomes should be mutually beneficial for the Proponent and Government. Further, Government recognises the right of Proponents to derive benefit from unique ideas. The approach to the identification, recognition and protection of intellectual property rights will be addressed and agreed with the Proponent during Stage 1 of the process. While direct negotiation of Unsolicited Proposals may be pursued, Government s default procurement approach is to test the market. This generally results in the demonstrable achievement of value-for-money outcomes and provides fair and equal opportunities for private sector participants to do business with Government. As such, Unsolicited Proposals should include unique elements that provide justification for entering into direct negotiations with the Proponent. The unique elements may include characteristics such as: Intellectual property or genuinely innovative ideas Ownership of real property Ownership of software or technology offering a unique benefit Unique financial arrangements Unique ability to deliver a strategic outcome Other demonstrably unique elements. At times, an organisation may wish to present an idea or initial proposal (concept) to Government that, if implemented, may provide real benefit to New South Wales. The purpose in approaching Government may be because the Proponent is seeking to increase the number of projects being offered to the market rather than to directly negotiate an outcome. This form of Unsolicited Proposal will be assessed in accordance with the Stage 1 procedure. The Proponent will be provided with the opportunity to participate in the procurement process should the concept be offered to the market. A glossary of terms used in this Guide is included in section 8. A Government Website has been established that includes information and supporting template documents that will be of assistance to organisations when contemplating if and how to present an Unsolicited Proposal to Government. 4

5 3 GUIDING PRINCIPLES 3.1 OPTIMISE OUTCOMES By their nature, Unsolicited Proposals are unlikely to be the current focus of Government s strategic planning. Proposals must therefore be considered in light of the wider benefits and strategic outcomes that may be derived. In order to proceed however, proposals must be broadly consistent with State objectives and other strategic planning objectives such as those developed by Infrastructure NSW. Outcomes must always be in the best interest of the State. In order to demonstrate that optimal Value for Money will be achieved, an open book approach to negotiations is to be adopted. Government will develop a Public Sector Comparator (against a Reference Project defined by Government) that will be used as a benchmark for assessing Value for Money. Government will also consider whole-of- Government impact and cost. The approach to demonstrating Value for Money will be generally consistent with Infrastructure Australia guidelines. In order to guide the Proponent, Government will provide an early indication of an acceptable return on investment and other requirements to be achieved by the Proponent in the delivery of its proposal. 3.2 ASSESSMENT CRITERIA Proposals will be assessed against the following Assessment Criteria: Unique benefits of proposal providing justification to directly negotiate Value to Government; encompassing economic benefit, service delivery, wholeof-life costs, risk transfer, timely achievement of objectives and qualitative outcomes Whole-of-Government impact, including opportunity cost Appropriateness of return on investment obtained by the Proponent given project risks Capability and capacity of Proponent to deliver the proposal Affordability Appropriate risk allocation. Additional Assessment Criteria relevant to a particular proposal may also be applied. If so, the Proponent will be informed of the criteria in order for these to be addressed in its Detailed Proposal during Stage PROBITY Government seeks to conduct its commercial dealings with integrity. The assessment of Unsolicited Proposals must be fair, open and demonstrate the highest levels of probity consistent with the public interest. The application of established probity principles aims to assure all parties of the integrity of the decision making processes. The assessment of Unsolicited Proposals will be conducted in line with the probity fundamentals outlined below and described in detail in section 9. These include: Maintain impartiality Maintaining accountability and transparency 5

6 Managing conflicts of interest Maintaining confidentiality Obtaining value for money 3.4 RESOURCE COMMITMENTS In order for an Unsolicited Proposal to progress, both Government and the Proponent will be required to commit resources. The staged approach to assessment as detailed in section 5 of this Guide seeks to balance resource input at each stage in order to reduce the potential for unnecessary expenditure. While this Guide seeks to minimise the costs for Proponents, Government will not normally reimburse costs associated with Unsolicited Proposals. In certain circumstances, however, Government may commit to meeting some or all Proponent costs. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be agreed with the Proponent in the Participation Agreement as an element of progressing to Stage GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS A Governance Plan will be developed for each proposal recommended for progression to Stage 2. The purpose of the Governance Plan is to define the Government s commitment and approach to participating in Stage 2 and the project approval process. The Governance Plan will be linked to project size, risk and inter-agency issues. The Governance Plan will include: Nominated Proposal Manager Steering Committee composition Identification of intellectual property and how it will be addressed Description of the decision making and approval processes, including required statutory approvals Documentation of roles and responsibilities of persons/committees involved in assessment and decision-making Proposed timetable for completion of elements of the assessment Resource commitments, including required areas of expertise from Government agencies and consultants Probity arrangements Other matters as required. In preparing the Governance Plan, Government will have regard to relevant processes and approval requirements in related procurement policy documents. This may include: NSW Public Private Partnerships Guidelines (August 2012) National Public Private Project Guidelines NSW Code of Practice for Procurement ICAC Guidelines for Managing Risks in Direct Negotiations NSW Code of Tendering. 6

7 A draft Governance Plan will be prepared by the Proposal Manager. A final Governance Plan will be endorsed by the Steering Committee and formally approved by the Director- General of DPC. Significant projects may require approval of the Governance Plan by Cabinet. 3.6 PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT A Participation Agreement provides an agreed framework for Stage 2 which will be entered into by both Government and the Proponent in order to ensure the alignment of expectations regarding participation in the process. The Participation Agreement will contain: Acknowledgement that a Value for Money outcome is a requirement for the proposal to proceed Assessment Criteria and other relevant Government requirements Communication channels, including a prohibition on lobbying Agreement as to who will pay costs Resource commitments Conflict of interest management arrangements Confidentiality requirements Commitment to following an open book approach to discussions Timeframe Approval requirements. 3.7 MONITORING DPC will establish a structured periodic review to assess the effectiveness of the approach to dealing with Unsolicited Proposals and Direct Approaches. 4 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 4.1 DEPARTMENT OF PREMIER AND CABINET The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) will take the lead role in the receipt and coordination of the consideration of Unsolicited Proposals. This will include appointing the Proposal Manager and as appropriate, chairing the Steering Committee. 4.2 STEERING COMMITTEE Makeup A Steering Committee has been established comprising senior representatives of the following agencies: Department of Premier and Cabinet (Chair) NSW Treasury 7

8 Infrastructure NSW Relevant agency representative (as required). Representatives of other agencies may be required to provide resources and input to assist in Steering Committee decision-making. Responsibilities The Steering Committee is responsible for: Reviewing recommendations made by the Proposal Manager or Assessment Panel (see Glossary) at Stage 1 and agreeing proposed course of action Confirming the unique elements of the proposal and agreeing the approach to managing intellectual property Approving the Governance Plan to be applied to Stage 2 Approving the makeup of the Assessment Panel Agreeing feedback to be provided to Proponents Defining the Reference Project Confirming the approach to assessing Value for Money, including endorsing the Public Sector Comparator Providing policy and inter-agency input to deliberations Monitoring progress of assessments Considering recommendations from the Assessment Panel during Stage 2 Endorsing negotiation conditions prior to Stage 3 Reviewing recommendations at conclusion of Stage 3 Making recommendations to Government. 4.3 GOVERNMENT (CABINET) Proposals will be submitted to Government (Cabinet) for approval prior to the progression of a proposal to Stage 2 and prior to the signing of any agreement. Projects requiring capital and/or recurrent funding require the approval of Government. The required approval process will be documented in the Governance Plan. 4.4 PROPOSAL MANAGER A Proposal Manager will be appointed by DPC in order to receive and progress consideration of Unsolicited Proposals. The Proposal Manager has the following responsibilities, unless otherwise documented in the Governance Plan: Receive Unsolicited Proposals Undertake an initial compliance check Facilitate the Assessment Panel Act as contact point for Proponents Facilitate interactions between the Proponent and Government Facilitate the preparation of information provided to the Proponent Coordinate assessment, including input from advisers 8

9 Coordinate preparation of Assessment Reports Provide assistance to Government agencies with a responsibility for assessing Unsolicited Proposals. 4.5 ASSESSMENT PANEL An Assessment Panel comprising appropriately qualified representatives will be established to undertake the assessment. The involvement of the Assessment Panel during Stages 1 and 2 will vary depending on the nature of the proposal. The makeup will be approved by the Steering Committee and documented in the Governance Plan. The Assessment Panel will: Report to the Steering Committee Participate as required in collaborative Proposal Development Workshops and other meetings with the Proponent Assess the Initial Submission (if required) and Detailed Proposal against the Assessment Criteria Prepare recommendations to be made to the Steering Committee Prepare Assessment Reports as required by the Steering Committee Consider issues raised by the Steering Committee Prepare a proposed schedule of items for negotiation during Stage INFRASTRUCTURE NSW Infrastructure NSW may coordinate the assessment of Unsolicited Proposals if the proposal relates to the provision of major infrastructure. This may include taking on the role of the Proposal Manager. The Steering Committee will recommend that Infrastructure NSW coordinate the assessment where appropriate and the Governance Plan will reflect this approach. 4.7 PROPONENT The Proponent is required to: Prepare an Initial Submission during Stage 1 Enter into a Participation Agreement if recommended to proceed to Stage 2 Provide a Detailed Proposal at the conclusion of Stage 2 Provide a Binding Offer at the conclusion of Stage AFFECTED AGENCIES Where a proposal affects a particular agency, that agency will be required to commit appropriate resources to fully participate in the assessment and proposal development processes. Agency participation and resourcing requirements will be documented and approved in the Governance Plan. 9

10 4.9 ADVISERS Advisers may provide expert advice to the Assessment Panel and Steering Committee. The following key advisers may be appointed to provide specialist expertise to assist in project scoping and assessment: Legal Financial Technical Environmental. Other advisers may be appointed where specialist input is required. Advisers are to follow all project governance and probity requirements PROBITY ADVISER A probity adviser may be appointed for large-scale projects or where probity risk is considered sufficient to warrant appointment. If appointed, the role of the probity adviser is to monitor and report on the application of the probity fundamentals (outlined in section 3.3) during the assessment process. The probity adviser will report to the chair of the Steering Committee and will be available to Proponents to discuss probity related matters. In the absence of a probity adviser, this role will be undertaken by the Proposal Manager. Proponents are able to request the appointment of a probity adviser. 5 THE PROCESS 5.1 INTRODUCTION This section outlines a three stage assessment process for the receipt and consideration of Unsolicited Proposals. It is recognised that the nominated stages may be refined in order to most effectively manage the assessment of any particular proposal. For example, each stage may include a number of milestones to be achieved in order to prevent unnecessary expenditure and to provide confidence for the Proponent to continue. Any milestones or changes to the stages will be discussed and agreed with the Proponent. 5.2 STAGE 1 INITIAL SUBMISSION AND STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT Objective For Government to undertake a comprehensive initial assessment of the proposal to identify the potential benefit to Government of further consideration and development with the Proponent. Proponent responsibilities During Stage 1, the Proponent is responsible for: 10

11 Preparing an Initial Submission in accordance with the Schedule of Information Requirements listed on the Government Website Identification of unique elements of the proposal Forwarding the Initial Submission to the Director General, DPC Responding to requests for further information. The information to be provided will depend on the size and complexity of the proposed project. Government responsibilities During Stage 1, Government is responsible for: Promptly acknowledging receipt of the Initial Submission Undertaking an initial compliance check to ensure the required information has been provided Requesting further information from the Proponent if required. This may involve clarification meetings with the Proponent in order to promote clarity of Government requirements Assessing the unique elements of the proposal and determining if sufficient justification to directly negotiate exists Establishment of the Assessment Panel Undertaking a formal assessment and requesting additional information where necessary. The assessment will be based on the potential for a subsequent Detailed Proposal to satisfactorily meet each of the Assessment Criteria if progressed to Stage 2 Preparing an Assessment Report for review and approval by the Steering Committee Preparing a Governance Plan and draft Participation Agreement for all proposals deemed appropriate to progress to Stage 2 Notification of the initial assessment outcome to the Proponent Government approval to progress to Stage 2, if warranted. Outcomes The following outcomes may result from this stage: The proposal is considered suitable for progression to Stage 2 The proposal, in concept form, is deemed of sufficient interest to Government to warrant further development and progression to a more defined project either with the original Proponent or, at their behest other parties, with a view to bringing a project to market The proposal is not sufficiently unique to justify direct negotiations with the Proponent. In this case, the Steering Committee will agree a recommended course of action The submission is considered suitable for referral to the relevant agency for further consideration if the project appears to have merit, requires a relatively low resource commitment by Government, is low risk, affects a single agency only and does not conflict with a whole of Government initiative The Submission is not considered suitable for further consideration. Feedback Proponents with proposals considered suitable to proceed to Stage 2 or referral to an agency for further consideration will be provided with the following information: 11

12 A summary of the assessment findings The proposed process for the further development and consideration of a Detailed Proposal. This will include governance arrangements Guidance regarding; value, scope, appropriate target return on investment parameters, timing, risk and other limitations affecting the Detailed Proposal in order to avoid unnecessary costs for the Proponent A Draft Participation Agreement. Written feedback providing reasons for a decision not to proceed with a proposal will be provided. Brief details of all Unsolicited Proposals that progress to Stage 2 will be included on the Government Website. Generally, the Government seeks to disclose all proposals in this stage. In some cases, Proponents may request that proposals are not listed, if this would pose significant risks to commercial negotiations or intellectual property. The Government considers each request and may agree not to disclose a proposal. The ability to undertake an assessment in confidence is considered essential to creating a receptive environment to elicit innovative private sector proposals. 5.3 STAGE 2 DETAILED PROPOSAL Objective For the Proponent and Government to work cooperatively in the development and assessment of a Detailed Proposal. Proponent responsibilities During Stage 2, the Proponent will: Enter into a Participation Agreement Attend the Establishment Meeting Participate in Proposal Development Workshops Prepare and submit a Detailed Proposal in a form previously agreed with Government that addresses each of the Government s Assessment Criteria. Government responsibilities During Stage 2, the Government will: Enter into a Participation Agreement Facilitate an Establishment Meeting in order to: Provide feedback to the Proponent regarding risks and concerns with the Initial Submission Provide guidance to the Proponent regarding Government requirements Agree the approach to managing Proposal Development Workshops Advise of the relevant Assessment Criteria Agree the format for the Detailed Proposal, including the information and level of detail required Commence discussions concerning the acceptable commercial and legal terms Commit appropriately experienced and qualified resources to participate in the Stage 2 process 12

13 Define a Reference Project which accurately reflects the scope of the proposal Investigate benchmarking and prepare the Public Sector Comparator for the Reference Project Participate in Proposal Development Workshops Provide further information to the Proponent to assist with proposal development Receive the Detailed Proposal Undertake assessment of the Detailed Proposal (by the Assessment Panel) against each of the Assessment Criteria Request further information from the Proponent as required Prepare an Assessment Report (by the Assessment Panel) and make recommendations to the Steering Committee Make recommendations to Government. Outcomes The following outcomes may result from this stage: The Detailed Proposal is considered acceptable to progress to Stage 3. The Detailed Proposal not considered suitable for further consideration. Feedback Proponents progressing to Stage 3 will be provided with a schedule of items and issues to be negotiated. Written feedback providing reasons for a decision by Government to not proceed will be provided. 5.4 STAGE 3 NEGOTIATION OF FINAL BINDING OFFER Objective To finalise all outstanding issues with a view to entering into a binding agreement. Proponent responsibilities During Stage 3, the Proponent will: Participate in the negotiation process Submit a Binding Offer; including appropriate legal and commercial terms. Government responsibilities During Stage 3, Government will: Prepare a Negotiation Plan Inform the Proponent of the process and protocols for negotiation Provide the Proponent with a schedule of items for negotiation Commit appropriately qualified resources to complete negotiations; including legal, financial and technical advice where appropriate Undertake a comprehensive assessment of the Binding Offer Define the appropriate Contract Management arrangements to monitor and ensure contracted outcomes are delivered Make recommendations to Government (Cabinet). 13

14 Outcomes The following outcomes may result from this stage: Recommendation to Government that the Binding Offer be accepted Recommendation to Government that the Binding Offer not be accepted. Feedback Notification of recommendations and ongoing procedures Written feedback providing reasons for a decision to not proceed will be provided to the Proponent. 14

15 6 PROCESS FLOWCHART Key Stages in the Consideration of Unsolicited Proposals Government approval to progress to Stage 2 Government approval to progress to Stage 3 Stage 1: Initial Submission and Strategic Assessment Stage 2: Detailed Proposal Key Steps Initial Submission prepared in accordance with information requirements Initial compliance check Formal assessment and request for additional information Assessment Report Proposed process for further development of a Detailed Proposal (Governance Plan) Draft Participation Agreement Government (Cabinet) approval to proceed to Stage 2 if warranted Key Steps Enter into a Participation Agreement Brief details included on website Actively participate in Proposal Development Workshops Define a Reference Project and Public Sector Comparator Government commits appropriately experienced resources Prepare and submit Detailed Proposal Assessment against each Criteria Recommendation to Government (Cabinet) to proceed, or not, to Stage 3 Government approval to enter contract Stage 3: Negotiation of a Final Binding Offer Key Steps Develop Negotiation Plan Schedule items for negotiation provided to Proponent Submit Binding Offer including appropriate legal and commercial terms Assessment of Binding Offer Recommendation to Government to accept, or not, the final offer Contract Management Key Steps Formalise management responsibilities Monitor project delivery Manage variations Monitor the service outputs Maintain the integrity of the contract 15

16 7 DIRECT APPROACHES BY GOVERNMENT TO INDUSTRY Government may have compelling reasons why it should pursue a Direct Approach to an organisation to deliver a significant project or service. In order to consider a Direct Approach, Government must demonstrate why this is justified and how Value for Money will be demonstrated. Rationale Reasons for a Direct Approach may include: Ownership of intellectual property rights Ownership of physical property, software or technology that is integral to meeting Government objectives The organisation may be capable of clearly demonstrating that it will provide optimal Value for Money The organisation can meet a strategic objective of Government within a timeframe not achievable by another organisation An open market tender process will take too long to address a critical need of Government and one organisation is positioned for expeditious delivery. Process Approval to pursue a Direct Approach must be given by Government (Cabinet) and supported by appropriate supporting documentation. Where a Direct Approach is considered to be the most appropriate means of achieving a Government objective, the process to be followed will align with that documented for Stages 2 and 3 relating to the assessment of Unsolicited Proposals. A Governance Plan is to be developed prior to commencing Stage 2 discussions and is subject to approval by Government (Cabinet). Exclusions This Guideline does not address the procurement of those goods and services covered by the Public Sector Employment and Management Amendment (Procurement of Goods and Services) Act

17 8 GLOSSARY OF TERMS Term Assessment Criteria Assessment Panel Binding Offer Detailed Proposal Direct Approach DPC Establishment Meeting Government Government Website Meaning The criteria upon which the Detailed Proposal will be assessed A panel of Government representatives established to assess an Unsolicited Proposal A formal proposal submitted by the Proponent at the conclusion of Stage 3 which is capable of acceptance by Government A submission by a Proponent to Government at the conclusion of Stage 2 Where Government directly approaches an organisation with a view to directly negotiating the procurement of infrastructure, goods or services The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet The first meeting between Government and the Proponent held at the commencement of Stage 2 The NSW State Government Initial Submission A submission by the Proponent during Stage 1 which briefly describes the proposal Intellectual Property Participation Agreement Proponent Proposal Development Workshop Proposal Manager Inventions, original designs and practical applications of good ideas protected by statute law through copyright, patents, registered designs, circuit layout rights and trademarks; also trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information protected against unlawful disclosure by common law and through additional contractual obligations such as Confidentiality Agreements. An agreement signed by Government and the Proponent at the commencement of Stage 2 The person or organisation that submits an Unsolicited Proposal Interactive meetings held between Government and Proponent representatives with the aim of progressing proposal development The person with responsibility for coordinating Government input for the receipt and assessment of an Unsolicited Proposal 17

18 Public Sector Comparator Reference Project Steering Committee Unsolicited Proposal Value for Money An estimate of the hypothetical whole-of-life cost for Government to undertake the project using traditional procurement methods The defined scope of the project incorporating, vision, objectives, physical and service, deliverables and timeframe A committee of senior government representatives with responsibility for oversight of Government consideration of Unsolicited Proposals An approach to Government from a Proponent with a proposal to: Build and/or finance infrastructure, and/or Provide goods or services Where Government has not requested the proposal. The overall value to Government. Consideration given to factors such as: Whole of life cost and revenue Quality Risk borne by Government Benefits gained Whole of Government outcomes 18

19 9 PROBITY FRAMEWORK The assessment of Unsolicited Proposals will be conducted through the application of established probity principles aims to assure all parties of the integrity of the decision making processes following probity fundamentals. Maintaining impartiality Fair and impartial treatment will be a feature of each stage of the assessment process. The process will feature a clearly defined separation of duties and personnel between the assessment and approval functions. Maintaining accountability and transparency Accountability and transparency are related concepts. The demonstration of both is crucial to the integrity of the assessment. Accountability requires that all participants be held accountable for their actions. The assessment process will identify responsibilities, provide feedback mechanisms and require that all activities and decision making be appropriately documented. Transparency refers to the preparedness to open a project and its processes to scrutiny, debate and possible criticism. This also involves providing reasons for all decisions taken and the provision of appropriate information to relevant stakeholders. Relevant information regarding proposals under consideration should be publicly available (note in some cases Government may agree to not disclose a proposal at Stage 2 of the assessment process, if requested by a Proponent. Refer to section 5.2, p.12 for further information). Managing conflicts of interest In support of the public interest, transparency and accountability, the Government requires the identification, management and monitoring of conflicts of interest. Participants will be required to disclose any current or past relationships or connections that may unfairly influence or be seen to unfairly influence the integrity of the assessment process. Maintaining confidentiality In the assessment of unsolicited proposals there is need for high levels of accountability and transparency. However, there is also a need for some information to be kept confidential, at least for a specified period of time. This is important to provide participants with confidence in the integrity of the process. Obtaining value for money Obtaining optimal value for money is a fundamental principle of public sector work. This is achieved by fostering an environment in which Proponents can make attractive, innovative proposals with the confidence that they will be assessed on their merits and where Government appropriately considers value. 19

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