Fairness Monitoring is primarily used to support the credibility of procurement procedures for large public sector infrastructure projects. A Fairness Monitor who is independent of the contracting body is appointed to give comfort to those involved in the bidding process that the advertised procurement procedure is followed, that all parties are treated equally during the process, and that any procedural problems, including conflicts of interest, are identified, and cured if possible in a manner that does not prejudice any bidders. Fairness monitors typically review the procurement process and provide advice on its structure, monitor its implementation, attend evaluation meetings and write a final report indicating whether the process was properly managed and fairly implemented.
Fairness monitors do not guarantee that the best or lowest bid is chosen, and in fact have no role in the evaluation or selection process except to monitor its compliance with the advertised procedures. They do not offer legal advice or opinions, but are limited to reviewing for the benefit of the parties involved that there has been adherence to stated procedures and a fair opportunity for all qualifying bidders to participate in the selection process.
Fairness monitoring has become more important as large scale projects now often involve consortiums of contractors and construction firms who have worked on similar projects in the past in a variety of partnerships or similar arrangements with government and non government players; such a history of relationships makes maintaining both the fact and appearance of impartiality and objectivity difficult for major contractors and government departments charged with implementing major projects. The Fairness Monitor provides a significant benefit by resolving this type of problem.