PATI Obligation: Publish $50K+ Contract Details

June 26, 2019

The Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO] said they are “aware of recent debate in both Houses of the Legislature during the past month concerning the obligations to make public the details of various contracts payments.”

A spokesperson said, “Information Commissioner Gitanjali Gutierrez clarified today that on 1 April 2015 the Public Access to Information [PATI] Act 2010 went into effect. Section 6[6] of the PATI Act requires all public authorities to publish in the Official Gazette the following details of contracts with a total value of $50,000 or more:

  • the name of the contractor;
  • the monetary value of the contract;
  • the goods or services to be provided under the contract; and
  • the time for performance of the contract, e.g., the completion or delivery date.

“These contract details must be gazetted in accordance with the PATI Act unless a particular contract detail would constitute exempt information. Exempt information is defined in the specific provisions in Part 4 of the PATI Act. Under the PATI Act, an exempt contract detail does not need to be gazetted, but all other non-exempt contract details must still be gazetted for the public.

“The requirements of the PATI Act apply to all of a public authority’s contracts with a total value of $50,000 or more that were in existence as of 1 April 2015, as well as to any contracts entered into subsequently. The definition of a public authority is set out in the Schedule to the PATI Act. In addition, a list of public authorities is provided on the Information Commissioner’s Office’s website,

“The Information Commissioner is mandated to monitor public authorities’ compliance with the requirement to gazette contract details and may provide guidance to public authorities if corrective measures are necessary.

“Where the Information Commissioner determines that a public authority has not complied with its requirements under PATI, the Information Commissioner has the authority to issue an order requiring compliance with any part of section 6 of the PATI Act. An order by the Information Commissioner has the same legal effect and is enforceable in the same manner as an order of the Supreme Court.

“The Information Commissioner required all public authorities to submit a 2018 ICO Annual Return. The ICO Annual Return enables the Information Commissioner to systematically and fairly monitor public authorities’ compliance with the requirements of the PATI Act.

“As part of the 2018 Annual Return, public authorities were required to report on their compliance with the PATI Act’s obligation to gazette the details of eligible contracts. As a result of this PATI obligation, there was a noticeable increase in the gazetting of contract details by public authorities during the ICO Annual Return period between November 2018 and March 2019. Gazette notices are available online.”

“Information Commissioner Gitanjali Gutierrez stated: ‘The PATI Act’s requirements for public authorities to gazette the details of their contracts fulfills important purposes of public access to information. It ensures that the public is aware of the spending of public funds and reduces unnecessary secrecy.

“It also allows potential vendors to understand what contracts may be available with government and for the public to assess how contracts are procured and managed. Such details allow the public a deeper understanding of how a public authority delivers its services and meets the public need.

“As the public sector increasingly improves its governance and accountability, it is critical that the public has at its fingertips the basic details concerning public spending and service provision’.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. toadinthehole says:

    Anyone know the details of the debate? I hope no-one was suggesting that things change.

  2. question says:

    Burt should support this and make sure the public knows everything described here.
    When we he come out and tell us he agrees? When will he publish all the contracts?

  3. aceboy says:

    So government hasn’t complied? Shocker!

  4. Dready says:

    Perhaps some of the same people have many companies and get the lionshare of govt contracts.

  5. somuchless says:

    Um still waiting for em to share their travel expenses. Transparency at its best.