HANDLING COMPLAINTS

Principles

1. The CPRs provide guidance to assist entities dealing with government procurement complaints. Most complaints should be dealt with in accordance with the processes and procedures outlined in the approach to the market documentation, which should be consistent with the requirements in the CPRs.

2. However, a small number of complaints may be formally made under section 18 of the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018. Guidance can be found in the Resource Management Guide 422.

  • In order to minimise the risk of these complaints, entities should ensure that their documentation, processes and procedures are consistent with the relevant parts of the CPRs and that, when potential suppliers raise concerns, they engage positively and constructively with a view to resolving any matters raised.  

3. To minimise or avoid complaints, entities should conduct procurement processes in a manner that is consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Framework. Some key considerations include:

  • ensuring procurement processes are non-discriminatory and treating potential suppliers equitably;
  • ensuring clarity of tender documentation;
  • providing sufficient time to allow potential suppliers to prepare and lodge a response to an approach to the market;
  • ensuring tender rules and the tender evaluation plan are followed;
  • ensuring liability capping requirements and insurance are appropriate for the procurement before the procurement process begins; and
  • maintaining accurate records and documentation commensurate with the scale, scope and risk of the procurement. This includes documenting substantive decisions made in relation to the procurement and the basis of those decisions.

4. Effective complaints handling:

  • provides transparency and accountability; and
  • promotes application of robust and defensible actions in future procurement processes.

5. Entities should place complaints handling procedures on their website and refer to them in request documentation.

6. Entities should try to resolve complaints in accordance with their complaints handling procedure and should document the complaint and any action taken including their response.

7. Entities should refer to their contract documentation in the first instance in relation to dealing with complaints or issues regarding the contract.

Last updated: 23 April 2019