Updating the Commonwealth Procurement Rules

John Sheridan - FAS Technology & Procurement

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Finance is updating the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) to ensure they remain applicable when the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) takes effect in July 2014.

The CPRs set out the rules that Commonwealth Government procurement officials must comply with when conducting procurements. Division 1of the CPRs contains rules for all procurements, regardless of value and Division 2 covers additional rules for procurements valued above the relevant procurement threshold.

The update to the CPRs has focussed on changing Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act (CAC Act) terminology to PGPA Act terminology. This includes replacing the term ‘agency’ with ‘entity’ and removing references to the FMA Regulations. The attached, marked up draft of the CPRs provides commentary on the proposed amendments. I note that there have been no amendments to Division 2 of the CPRs.

The removal of the Finance Minister’s (CAC Act Procurement) Directions 2012 has required a number of changes. These include amending Chapter 2 (Procurement Framework) and Chapter 3 (How to use the Commonwealth Procurement Rules) and introducing a list of entities (at Appendix B) to identify those corporate Commonwealth entities subject to the CPRs.

We took the opportunity to amend the construction threshold (in line with our continuing Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement) and to propose a new AusTender contract reporting threshold.

We also took the opportunity to clarify:

  • in Chapter 4, value for money,
  • in Chapter 3, how to apply Appendix A exemptions; and
  • in paragraphs 7.2-7.4, record keeping requirements.

Noting these updates, I’d like your comments on:

  • whether the proposed amendments clarify agency obligations around value for money and using exemptions under the CPRs;
  • any implementation issues you or your organisation may face with the revised CPRs; and
  • any effects these changes may have on transparency/accountability in procurement.

Comments are open until Sunday 1 June, and I welcome feedback, particularly insight from business. You can either leave a comment on the blog, or if you’d prefer, reply via email to haveyoursay.procurement@finance.gov.au Further minor amendments to the CPRs may be made prior to finalisation and tabling in Parliament.

Comments (6)

thanks for consulting the business community regarding updates to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Optus is considering the changes, and I expect that we will provide a submission.

Thanks - we'll look forward to receiving it.

John, i thought there wasn't going to be any change to the AusTender reporting threshold at this stage, but i see the draft CPRs have the threshold at $20k for non-corporate commonwealth entities? Maybe i should just wait for SPORG tomorrow to find out more about this.



I was ionformed at a recent Forum that the current procurement thresholds could not be easily changed due to the defined amounts within the Free Trade Agreements - specifically the USFTA.
Are you able to confirm (or deny) this, and update us on any change to the status of reviewing the currtent thresholds?

Hi Geoff

Thresholds specified in free trade agreements, including the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), form the basis for the thresholds in the CPRs. There is no scope in our free trade agreements to review the procurement thresholds, other than periodic updates based on inflation and exchange rates. The last update required Australia to lower its threshold for the procurement of construction services to $7,500,000, due to the ongoing strength of the Australian dollar relative to the US dollar. The next scheduled update of thresholds will occur in two years time in accordance with the provisions in our free trade agreements.

Thanks for your interest.



Hi all,

Comments for this blog are now closed. Thanks to all those that provided feedback. Should anyone have any further comments, please send them via email to my team at haveyoursay.procurement@finance.gov.au.


Last updated: 19 August 2016