Commonwealth Procurement Rules - Outcome of the Review of the rules that came into effect March 2017

Author: 
Finance

We have now completed a review of the rules included in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, in effect since 1 March 2017. This completes actions detailed in the Government’s response to Recommendation 15 in the Joint Select Committee on Government Procurement’s (JSCGP) report Buying into our Future: Review of amendments to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Overall, the review found the rules are fit for purpose, and implementation has generally been straightforward.

The feedback we received from Commonwealth entities and Government suppliers showed there were minimal issues implementing the rules on standards, and regulations and regulatory frameworks. In fact, most responders thought the rules have strengthened existing practices.

It was the economic benefit requirement that has been more challenging for entities and suppliers to implement. However, it has become easier over time as the requirement is incorporated into relevant procurements.

We will now be turning to implementation of actions from the review, which we will seek to complete by mid-2019. Some of the actions are: updating guidance to include case studies; encouraging entities to ensure that the economic benefits assessment is commensurate with the scale, scope and risk of the procurement; and continuing to encourage cross-entity sharing of procurement experiences and lessons learnt.

See below for some background information on the rules and the scope of the review.

The rules included in the March 2017 update require that:

  • the benefit to the Australian economy be considered when assessing the value for money of tenders for non-construction procurements valued above $4 million and construction procurements above $7.5 million
  • procurement is consistent with relevant regulations and frameworks, and reasonable enquiries are made into a prospective supplier’s employment practices, workplace health and safety and environmental impact
  • where an Australian standard is applicable, submitted tenders must demonstrate the capability to meet the standard, and agencies must take reasonable steps to check for evidence of compliance with all applicable standards.

The review examined the rules and whether Finance’s Guidance is fit for purpose and assists   Commonwealth entities to implement the rules in their procurements. We considered contributions from a range of stakeholders including:

  • the submissions to the JSCGP for the committee’s Report
  • the Senior Procurement Officers Reference Group, made up of representatives of all entities bound by the Commonwealth Procurement Framework
  • a number of tenderers for Government contracts.

 

Nicholas Hunt

First Assistant Secretary

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Last updated: 14 March 2019