Purchasing goods and services is an ongoing activity for many Crown land managers (CLMs). Whether it is undertaking necessary repairs, engaging a cleaning contractor or planning for a new development, it is important that procurement processes are transparent, accountable and documented.
Inappropriate or misuse of any CLM funds, such as grants or revenue can result in action against the CLM and/or individuals (such as board members, employees and volunteers) which could include removal from position or legal action.
CLMs funds are public money and the CLMs are wholly accountable for the relevant funds under their control. To help ensure compliance and best practice, the department’s CLM Procurement Code of Conduct details the principles and behaviours that CLMs must follow.
The information below outlines key procurement guidelines for Category 2 non-council CLMs. These are aligned to NSW Government procurement policies. For further advice on procurement contact the department. Information is also available on the NSW Government procurement website.
CLM procurement processes should aim to engage a supplier that offers the best value for money. This is not necessarily the same as selecting the cheapest supplier. When making procurement decisions you should take into account things such as:
All potential suppliers must be treated with impartiality and fairness and given equal access to information and opportunities to submit proposals. You will need to sufficiently document your procurement process so that you can demonstrate why you selected a particular supplier. Detailed minutes during CLM meetings should be taken to ensure the procurement process is followed and details of the process is transparent and freely available for CLM board members and during an audit process.
The procurement method you use will depend on the value of the activity in your project to be completed. Note that certain projects may have different activities within it. Some projects will only have one activity while others may have multiple activities. Project activities will generally align with the different types of quotes you are receiving.
For example, a hall upgrade may require the services of both an electrician and a plumber. If you are engaging the two professionals directly (receiving quotes from both), then these project components would be two different activity elements. If you are engaging a builder to project manage the above project and the electrician and the plumber are subcontracted by the builder, then the builders quote for the whole project will be just one activity element.
For activities valued $30,000 or less, you have to obtain at least one written quote for each activity element of the project.
For activities valued over $30,000 and up to $150,000, you need to obtain at least three written quotes for each of these high-value project activity elements.
If you are in a rural area and are unable to obtain the required amount of quotes this must be documented in the minutes of the board meeting. All efforts need to be exhausted to obtain the quotes and the board minutes need to show this. Due to lower populations in rural areas there is an increased possibility the supplier will be known to a CLM board member. If there is a conflict of interest, this must be noted in the minutes of the board meeting and that member must exclude themselves from the decision process.
For each activity element over $150,000 you are required to put the work out to public tender. As a minimum, the public tender process must include the following steps:
If you receive less than three quotes in response to your advertisement, the TEC should authorise a designated person to contact a number of potential suppliers directly for quotes (with a new shared deadline). a. The process must be managed equitably as per the sub points at step 3.
The types of records you must retain, and be able to present for audit, include:
After a supplier has been appointed to undertake a task/project, it is important to ensure the terms of the agreement between parties are adhered to. For simple tasks such as a basic repair, this should be straightforward, such as complying to payment terms and agreed dates to complete the task.
For more complex projects, such as construction of a new dwelling, more formal contract management should be undertaken. The TEC should elect a project manager who will be the point of contact for the supplier. This will help resolve issues such as gaining access to the site or access to power. For a development, the project manager needs to ensure that the supplier meets all its requirements set out in the building contract. Progress payments should only be made when project milestones are achieved. A request for photos or personal inspections to view completed works should be done before progress payments are made. All payments to suppliers need to be approved by two people from the TEC.
CLMs are encouraged to consider Aboriginal owned businesses for procurement activities. The NSW Government Aboriginal Procurement Policy aims to support Aboriginal skills and economic participation. Visit the Supply Nation website for a directory of Aboriginal owned businesses.
This Crown land manager web resource was printed on 17 Dec 2019. The information contained in this web resource is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing Dec 2019. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information by referring to the website (www.reservemanager.nsw.gov.au).
© State of New South Wales through Department of Planning, Industry & Environment 2019.
Page link: https://reservemanager.crownland.nsw.gov.au/administration/procurement