Commonwealth Supplier Code of Conduct - Overview

On 1 July 2024, the Commonwealth Supplier Code of Conduct (Code) will come into effect. 

From this date, the Code clauses will be mandatory for inclusion in all Commonwealth forms of contract refer 1 July 2024 Commonwealth Procurement Rules paragraph 6.12. The  Code is not retrospective and will apply only to new Commonwealth forms of contracts entered from this date.

Commonwealth entities and businesses are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Code and Code clauses. Further guidance for Commonwealth entities and businesses is available on this page.

The Commonwealth expects its suppliers to conduct themselves with high standards of ethics such that they consistently act with integrity and accountability. The Australian Government has developed the Commonwealth Supplier Code of Conduct (Code) as a key measure to strengthen supplier behaviour. 

The Code outlines the Commonwealth’s minimum expectations of suppliers and their subcontractors while under contract with the Commonwealth. The expectations in the Code cover ethical behaviour; corporate governance; business practices; and health, safety, and employee welfare. These expectations do not supersede or alter a supplier’s existing legislative, policy, regulatory or other contractual obligations. 

The Code is mandated through Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) paragraph 6.12 which states that all relevant entities must incorporate the Code into all Commonwealth forms of contract. An Accountable Authority may determine that a contract should not include the Code, in part or in full, and document the basis for this decision. All Commonwealth forms of contract entered into from 1 July 2024 must contain the Code clauses.

To enable enforcement and management of the Code, provisions in request documentation and standard clauses for Commonwealth contracts have been developed and are available in the Commonwealth Contracting Suite and within ClauseBank in the Related Resources links on this page.

The Code and Code clauses provides structure to both suppliers and Commonwealth entities on how supplier misconduct will be handled and places a positive duty on suppliers to take proactive action to prevent and discourage breaches of the Code. Where requested by the Commonwealth, tenderers and suppliers must be able to demonstrate they have appropriate policies, frameworks, or similar, in place regarding ethics, governance and accountability to comply with the expectations in the Code. Failure to adhere to the Code may result in remedial action and/or termination in accordance with contractual provisions.

The extent of due diligence activities undertaken by a Commonwealth entity in relation to a supplier’s adherence to the Code is informed by the scale, scope, and risk of the procurement.

Guidance for Commonwealth entities and businesses on the application of the Code are available within the Related Resources links on this page.

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