Express Law No. 323

1 July 2024

Commonwealth Procurement Rules 2024

The Minister for Finance has issued a new version of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (2024 CPRs), which has taken effect on 1 July 2024. It replaces the previous version of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (released on 13 June 2023). The 2024 CPRs have been published on the Finance website with accompanying guidance. Two Procurement Connected Policies (PCPs) also commenced on 1 July (see below). Agencies should, as soon as possible, review the 2024 CPRs and the new PCPs to update their internal processes and templates in line with the new changes.

Key changes

Summary of relevant changes in the 2024 CPRs

Some of the more substantive changes in the 2024 CPRs include the following (‘para’ references below are to paragraphs in the 2024 CPRs):

  • The Supplier Code of Conduct must be incorporated in all Commonwealth forms of contract unless the accountable authority determines otherwise (paras 2.11 and 6.12).
  • Ministers must not direct officials undertaking procurement activities. Where ministers are required to have a role in a procurement process, that role and any decisions arising from that role should be appropriately documented. A new footnote clarifies that, consistent with s 19 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth), ministers may seek information of the progress of a procurement (paras 3.2 and 3.3).
  • Higher targets for procurement from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with a target to source 25% (up from 20%) procurements below $1bn from SMEs, 40% (up from 35%) of procurements below $20m from SMEs, and raising the SME exemption threshold to $500,000 (from $200,000) (paras 5.6, 5.7 and Appendix A, item 17).
  • Officials must seek to prevent corrupt practices by recognising and dealing with conflicts and not accepting inappropriate gifts or hospitality (para 6.7). Previously conflicts and inappropriate gifts or hospitality were referenced in para 6.6.
  • Clarification that notification to unsuccessful tenderers should be provided in writing as best practice, and must be provided in writing if requested by the supplier (para 7.17).
  • Clarification of the reporting threshold at which all contract and amendments to contracts must be reported to AusTender (7.18 and 7.19).

Other announced changes

Ministerial announcements have been made about other changes affecting the Management Advisory Services (MAS) Panel, the People Panel, economic benefit assessments and the Commonwealth Supplier Code of Conduct. Specifically, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Small Business announced:

  • The Government will require that at least one SME must be approached for every request for a quote from the mandated MAS Panel and the People Panel.
  • Some 5% of agencies’ spending on services through the MAS Panel and the People Panel can also now be sourced directly to First Nations businesses who are not on those panels through a new Flexibility Allowance.
  • A reduction in the threshold for procurements that require an economic benefit assessment (from $4m to $1m), meaning more procurements will be subject to an assessment of the benefit to the Australian economy in the context of determining value for money. This will be supported by comprehensive new guidance to support officials to effectively undertake economic benefit assessments that Finance is currently consulting on.
  • The Commonwealth Supplier Code of Conduct will be a core component of the CPRs, outlining the Commonwealth’s minimum expectations of suppliers and their personnel while under contract with the Commonwealth (regarding suppliers’ ethical behaviour, governance and business practices, and the welfare of employees).

Two new Procurement Connected Policies

Two new Procurement Connected Policies commenced on 1 July, including the Skills Guarantee Procurement Connected Policy (from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations) and the Environmentally Sustainable Procurement (ESP) Policy (from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water).


Hilton, Stuart

Senior Executive Lawyer

Cooke, Garth

Deputy General Counsel Commercial

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