Procuring the best for Queensland – key changes under the new Queensland Procurement Policy
A new Queensland Procurement Policy took effect on 1 September 2017 as part of the Queensland Government Procurement Strategy. A key emphasis of the new strategy and policy is encouraging the use of local Queensland businesses in procurement activities.
The policy applies to departments, statutory bodies, government-owned corporations and special purpose vehicles. It replaces the existing 2013 policy and is to be fully implemented by 1 March 2018.
One of the most significant changes under the new policy is the application of a local benefits test for all significant procurement, which is defined as high value or high risk procurement. The local benefits test will see a weighting of up to 30% applied as part of the procurement evaluation.
Preference will be given to suppliers in the following order:
- Local zone 1 – suppliers that maintain a workforce within 125 km of the location where the goods/services will be delivered
- Local zone 2 – suppliers within the region
- Local zone 3 – suppliers within the state
- Local zone 4 – suppliers within Australia.
Other significant changes include:
- Requiring at least one local/regional supplier and one Queensland based business to be invited to quote/tender where possible
- Reducing complexity to make it easier for Queensland business to respond to procurement requests
- Exempting business from the pre-qualification systems for building contracts and information technology projects under $1m
- Permitting procurement outside whole-of-government arrangements for regional and remote locations
- Encouraging procurement from ethical suppliers and avoiding the purchase of ‘dumped goods’.
New governance and operating models
The policy establishes a new governance structure and operating model that is based around the following categories of goods/services:
- Information & Communication Technology
- Building Construction & Maintenance
- Social Services
- Transport Infrastructure & Services
- General Goods & Services
Each category is managed by an agency-led council that oversees and directs strategic procurement activities.
Councils operate under the direction and guidance of the Queensland Government Procurement Committee and the CEO Leadership Board. A Procurement Industry Advisory Group provides industry input regarding procurement.
The principles underpinning the Procurement Policy are supported by a number of key requirements for agencies. The following table sets out a brief overview:
Principle 1: Putting Queenslanders first when securing value for money
Value for money is not assessed solely by reference to price and must reflect cost and non-cost factors.
Principle 2: Advancement of economic, environmental and social objectives
Procurement activities should advance the government’s economic, environmental and social objectives and support the long-term wellbeing of the community.
Principle 3: Integrity, probity and accountability
Agencies are accountable for delivering timely outcomes using public resources. Decisions must be transparent & defensible.
Principle 4: Leaders in procurement practice
The government must understand its needs, the market and suppliers. It requires innovation and active management of procurement activities.
Principal 5: Working together to achieve outcomes
Agencies are encouraged to take a collaborative approach to planning and managing procurement, thereby maximising savings and benefits.
Principal 6: Governance and planning
The Procurement Policy aims to increase stakeholder and community confidence in government procurement practices
This article provides an overview of the new procurement policy and highlight some of the key changes. It is not a complete summary of all relevant matters canvassed in the policy.
The lawyers in Crown Law’s Commercial and Property Team are specialists in advising on government contracts, probity and other legal issues relevant to procurement. If you have any questions about legal issues in procurement, contact the A/Assistant Crown Solicitor of our Commercial and Property Team, Chris Maxwell or A/Senior Principal Lawyer, Catherine Jackson on 340 43518.
The information in this publication is provided for general purposes only. It is not to be relied on as a substitute for legal advice. Crown Law and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General accept no liability for losses caused by reliance on the material in this publication. Formal legal advice should be obtained for particular matters.
Published: 20 October 2017
Author: Catherine Jackson