Express law No. 252

30 November 2016

New Commonwealth Procurement Rules to apply from 1 March 2017

The Minister for Finance has issued new Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) that will apply to procurements from 1 March 2017.

The new CPRs were released today, with a commencement date of 1 March 2017. The changes will be relevant for all Commonwealth agencies who are required to comply with the CPRs (referred to as 'relevant entities').

The changes are all in Division 2 of the CPRs and so will apply to procurements that are valued over the relevant procurement threshold and not exempt from Division 2 under Appendix A. The changes focus on 4 main areas:

  • Australian standards: where there is an applicable Australian standard, tenders must demonstrate the capability to meet the Australian standard. Contracts will also need to include details of the relevant standard (see paragraph 10.10)
  • Compliance with regulatory frameworks: agencies need to make reasonable enquires that the procurement is carried out considering relevant regulatory frameworks, including tenderers' practices regarding employment practices, OHS and environmental impacts (see paragraph 10.18)
  • Consideration of economic benefit: for procurements valued at over $4 million, in considering value for money (under paragraph 4.4), agencies need to consider the economic benefit of the procurement to the Australian economy, in the context of relevant agreements and procurement policies (see paragraphs 10.30 and 10.31)
  • Compliance with standards: agencies must make reasonable enquiries to confirm relevant standards are being met (see paragraph 10.37).

Department of Finance has advised that additional information will be provided to agencies to assist with implementing these new requirements. The Department of Finance is also updating the Commonwealth Contract Suite documentation. Agencies who are required to comply with the CPRs will need to review their own procurement documentation, including request for tender, evaluation and contract templates, to ensure they are compliant with the new CPRs in time for the 1 March 2017 start date. AGS can assist with this.

Note: These changes are separate from the other changes to procurement policy and practice currently being developed by the Department of Finance regarding limited and prequalified tenders and domestic review. Information on these other changes is expected to be released early in 2017, with the changes expected to commence on 1 July 2017.

For further information please contact:

Adrian Snooks

Deputy Chief Counsel Commercial

T 02 6253 7192

Linda Richardson PSM

Chief Counsel Commercial

T 02 6253 7207

Simon Konecny

Deputy General Counsel Commercial

T 02 9581 7585

Paul Lang

Deputy General Counsel Commercial

T 03 9242 1322

Kenneth Eagle

National Manager AGS Commercial

T 02 6253 7122

Lee-Sai Choo

Senior Executive Lawyer

T 08 9268 1137

Garth Cooke

Team Leader AGS Commercial

T 03 9242 1494

Joanna Piva

Senior Executive Lawyer

T 02 6253 7122

Helen Curtis

Senior Executive Lawyer

T 02 6253 7036

Clare Derix

Senior Executive Lawyer

T 02 6253 7274

Tony Beal

Deputy General Counsel Commercial

T 02 6253 7231

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