Commonwealth Contracting Suite Plus – Now Available for Public Comment

Author: 
John Sheridan - FAS Technology & Procurement

I am pleased to announce that the Commonwealth Contracting Suite Plus (CCS Plus) is now available for public consultation. 

CCS Plus has been developed with considerable input from stakeholders and takes account of all of the comments Finance has received about the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS) since its introduction in 2014.

CCS Plus will replace the current CCS and is designed to be used for a wide range of Commonwealth procurements, up to $1 million.  Like the CCS, CCS Plus is not designed for procurements of Construction or of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

For procurements up to $200,000, where using the CCS is mandatory (as set out in RMG-420) from     1 January 2017, CCS Plus will be used instead. For non-construction, non-ICT procurements valued above $200,000, government buyers should assess the appropriateness of using CCS Plus on a case by case basis.

Since its release, the CCS has assisted potential suppliers by providing a consistent set of Approach to Market and Contract documents across all Commonwealth government entities. Suppliers tell us that use of the CCS Response Form saves them considerable time and money when preparing bids.

All of the existing functionality has been retained; key enhancements requested by Suppliers and included in CCS Plus are summarised here. The introduction of CCS Plus is expected to reduce the administrative burden on suppliers, by reducing the size of the documentation from more than 60 pages to around 10 pages on average, for an additional 9000 contracts per year.

Government officials report that the CCS’s structured approach has made it easy for even inexperienced Commonwealth purchasers to buy what their entity needs, simply and efficiently.

The significant additional functionality and key enhancements requested by Buyers and included in CCS Plus are summarised here.

I am now seeking feedback on the CCS Plus Approach to Market (ATM) Templateas well as the CCS Plus ATM Terms and the CCS Plus Commonwealth Contract Terms and I welcome comments from any interested person or organisation.

The CCS Plus ATM Templatecan be accessed from the Public Consultation folder on the CCS website. I also encourage you to review the CCS Plus ATM Terms and the CCS Plus Commonwealth Contract Terms.

You can provide comments on:

  • The ATM Template (i.e. the online smart-form and output word document) via email to CCSDesk@finance.gov.au.
  • The CCS Plus ATM Terms via the smart-form on the CCS website.
  • The CCS Plus Contract Terms via the smart-form on the CCS website.

Alternatively, you can provide comments directly either below, or by email at haveyoursay.procurement@finance.gov.au.

While I would appreciate receiving your feedback by COB Friday 23 September 2016, if you need more time, please email CCSDesk@finance.gov.au to let us know.

For those who have already used CCS, I am interested to know how likely it is that you would recommend using it to a friend or colleague. The link below will take you to a very brief survey that will help us understand your views.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z7BV2DV

Attachments

The documents attached below highlight what has changed between the CCS terms and the CCS Plus terms, as well as the ATM Template.

You can also view the final proposed terms below.

 

Comments (4)

I just have a few questions

1. Will acceptance of the Commonwealth T&Cs still be an essential requirement for procurements above $200,000? and
2. Has any consideration been given to establishment of a Deed under a similar process?

Regards

Hi Peter

In response to your questions:

  1. Yes, the Commonwealth Contract Terms must be included in all Commonwealth Contracting Suite Contracts.  In consultation with a number of key stakeholders, the terms have been revised to be suitable for procurement up to $1m.  We would appreciate your feedback on the revised terms and their fitness for purpose.
  2. Yes, we are currently drafting template documents for establishment of panels.

 

John

I found some entries confusing, as follows:

CC8 - should ‘specified subcontractors’ be termed ‘Approved Subcontractors’?
CC9 - third paragraph last sentence - why should the services be provided to a higher standard - why not state 'Any services must be provided to the standard of... '
cc14 (a) - is a remedy relevant here? - what if the supplier either has a valid reason for inability to provide, or can offer an alternative (remedy)
cc18 - I found this confusing, but could improve the meaning by removing 'to the supplier' at the end of the sentence

Thank you for your comments on the draft Commonwealth Contract Terms.

In response:

C.C.8 – subcontractors listed in a Contract have been specified by the Supplier, they have not been approved by the Commonwealth. To call them “approved subcontractors” would be misleading.

C.C.9 – To ensure proper use of public resources, it is reasonable for the Commonwealth to expect Services to be delivered to the higher of the standard as expected of an experienced, professional supplier of similar services and any specified in the Statement of Work.

C.C.14 – Termination for Cause: This part of the clause provides the Customer with an option to terminate the Contract when the Supplier is unable to fulfil its obligations under the contract. On many occasions, timing of delivery is critical to meet the timeframes of a larger project so inability to deliver may lead to unacceptable outcomes for the Customer. Where this is not the case, it is our experience that the Customer would act in accordance with Clause C.C.2 [Relationship of the Parties] which requires the parties to (a) communicate openly with each other and cooperate in achieving the contractual objectives; and (b) act honestly and ethically, in all dealings related to the Contract and only terminate as a last resort. Clause C.C.11 [Delivery and Acceptance] provides for remedy of rejected Goods and/or Services.

C.C.18 – Transition In: For the avoidance of doubt and to provide clarity the words “to the Supplier” have been retained at the end of the sentence.

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Last updated: 08 September 2016