The purpose of this Policy is to:
- provide a procurement framework that seeks to achieve best value in price, quality and timeliness through consistent, competitive and transparent processes
- provide a framework to achieve ethical behaviour in all procurement
- give preference to the purchase of environmentally responsible goods and services where possible
- minimise and manage risks in procurement.
Council means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989
Councillors means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City
Council Council officer means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.
Local Businesses means withinthe City of Casey and neighbouring municipalities.
This Policy applies to all Council contracting and procurement activities and is binding upon Councillors, Council staff and temporary employees, contractors and consultants, or any other persons undertaking procurement on Council’s behalf.
All Council’s procurement activity is subject to the applicable:
- legislative and regulatory provisions
- promulgated guidelines (including Victorian Local Government Best Practice Procurement Guidelines 2013)
- other policies that interact with procurement.
The key legislative requirements include:
- Section 186 of the Local Government Act (LGA) (Power to enter into Contracts)
- Section 186A of the LGA (Procurement Policy)
- Sections 208C of the LGA (Best Value Principles); and Sections 77-80, and 95 (Conflict of Interest)
- Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The following principles apply to all aspects of Council procurement:
5.1 Value for Money
All persons engaged in purchasing decisions must aim to obtain best value-for money. Value-for-money will take account of all relevant costs and benefits of each proposal throughout the entire procurement cycle. Cost will not be the only determinant of value for-money. While cost will be a major consideration, goods, services and works will also be selected on the basis of the degree of compliance with specified quality standards and environmental performance.
Council will enhance its value-for-money outcomes through the use of a competitive process wherever possible. Council will seek to minimise the cost of procurement by:
- ensuring that all procurement needs and outcomes are clearly defined
- packaging works and services in a manner that encourages competition
- adopting a category management approach to procurement activities, where applicable, together with the development of an Annual procurement Plan
- measuring ongoing performance, savings and benefits conducting buying and tendering processes efficiently
- actively considering partnering and collaborative opportunities
- ensuring contracts are effectively and efficiently managed
5.2 Competition and Consumer Act Compliance
Council will comply fully with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and other fair trading legislation applicable to its operations. Council is committed to the public policy goals embodied in these laws which include the protection and promotion of competition.
Council is committed to observing and ensuring that staff observe the obligations arising under competition and consumer legislation, and to not allow the following to occur:
- restrictive trade practices (including price fixing and exclusionary provisions relating in a division of territories)
- market sharing (including allocation of customers), anti-competitive agreements, exclusive dealing and misuse of market power
- inaccurate communication or promotion (including misleading or deceptive conduct, false claims and unsubstantiated predictions)
- unconscionable and unfair business practices
5.3 Ethics and Probity
Members of staff and Councillors (and all persons engaged in procurement on Council’s behalf) must exercise the highest standards of integrity in a manner able to withstand the closest possible scrutiny.
All persons engaged in Council procurement must exercise the highest standards of probity and will:
- treat potential and existing suppliers with impartiality and fairness
- not seek nor receive personal gain
- maintain confidentiality of commercial in confidence information such as contract prices and other sensitive information
- present the highest standards of professionalism and probity
- deal with suppliers in an honest and impartial manner that avoids conflicts of interest
- provide all suppliers and tenderers with the same information and equal opportunity
- be able to account for all decisions and provide feedback on them.
A probity plan to cover all tenders for goods, works or services worth more than $10 million must be developed by the relevant Department in consultation with the Manager – Property and Procurement and approved by the Chief Executive Officer in advance of the tender process.
5.4 Accountability and Transparency
All persons engaged in procurement must be able to explain and provide evidence of the process followed in purchasing on behalf of Council. The test of adequate accountability is that an independent third party must be able to clearly see that a process complying with this Policy has been followed and that the process is fair and reasonable.
A consistent approach will be undertaken in all procurement across the Council. Council will conduct its procurement activities in a fair, honest, and open manner, demonstrating the highest levels of integrity, consistent with the public interest.
5.5 Fair and Honest Dealing
All prospective providers must be afforded an equal opportunity to tender or quote, and impartiality must be maintained throughout the procurement process so that it can withstand public scrutiny.
The commercial interests of existing and potential providers must be protected. Confidentiality of information provided by existing and prospective providers must be maintained at all times, particularly commercially sensitive material such as, but not limited to process, price, discounts, rebates, profit, margin/mark-up, manufacturing and product information.
5.6 Conflict of Interest
Members of staff and Councillors (and all persons engaged in procurement on Council’s behalf) have an overriding responsibility to act impartially and with integrity, avoiding conflicts of interest (Section 77-80, 95 LGA). Councillors and Council staff shall at all times avoid situations in which private interests conflict, or might reasonably be perceived to conflict, or have the potential to conflict, with their Council duties.
In procurement matters:
- members of staff must disclose a direct or indirect interest (and the type of interest) before providing advice or reports (Section 80C LGA)
- council officers delegated Council powers or duties are prohibited from exercising those powers, duties or functions if they have conflicts of interest (Section 80B LGA)
- a Councillor must comply with the Primary Principle of Councillor Conduct and avoid conflicts between their public duties as a Councillor and their personal interests and obligations. (Section 76BA LGA). Councillors (and members of audit committees) must disclose a conflict of interest (Section 79 LGA)
- Councillors must also comply with the City of Casey Councillor Code of Conduct
- members of staff must also comply with the Code of Conduct for Council Staff (Section 95AA LGA)
- it is considered best practice for any staff members and Councillors to make their interests known in any situation where it could be perceived that an interest might unduly influence them.
Councillors are precluded from membership of an assessment panel making a recommendation in regard to any procurement related decision.
5.7 Gifts and Hospitality
Members of staff and Councillors (and all persons engaged in procurement on Council’s behalf) must not:
- either directly or indirectly solicit for private purposes any gift or hospitality in connection with that person’s official powers, duties and functions, including procurement
- accept a gift of hospitality if acceptance could be perceived as being intended to or likely to influence the recipient in the fair, impartial and efficient discharge of that persons duties for Council.
Members of staff and Councillors (and all persons engaged in procurement on Council’s behalf) must adhere to relevant Council Policies and Procedures on Gifts and Hospitality.
5.8 Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
Commercial-in-confidence or intellectual property information received by Council must not be disclosed and is to be held in a secure location.
In accordance with Section 76D of the LGA, Councillors, former Councillors, members of special committees and audit committees must not release information which they know, or should reasonably know is confidential information.
Discussion with potential providers during tender evaluations should not go beyond the extent necessary to resolve doubt on what is being offered by that provider, or to clarify specification queries.
5.9 Internal Control
Council will establish and maintain a framework of internal controls over procurement activities in order to ensure:
- more than one person is involved in each transaction
- transparency in the procurement process
- a clearly documented audit trail exists for procurement activities
- appropriate authorisations are obtained and documented
- systems are in place for appropriate monitoring and performance measurement.
All persons engaged in procurement activities must diligently apply all internal controls.
5.10 Risk Management
Council will manage all aspects of its procurement activities in accordance with its adopted Risk Management Policy and in such a way that all risks, including occupational health and safety, are controlled to the standards required by law or determined by Council.
5.11 Environmental and Sustainable Considerations
In the context that a healthy environment is critical to the quality of life of the Casey community, Council will give favourable consideration to the purchase of environmentally responsible and sustainable products whenever these have satisfactory performance, meet project specifications and are reasonably priced.
Council is committed to adopting a green procurement approach by supporting the principles of sustainable procurement within the context of purchasing on a Value-for Money basis. Value-for-Money purchasing decisions made by Council are made on the basis of whole-of-life cost and non-price factors including contribution to Council’s sustainability objectives.
A price preference will be applied (and included in specifications where appropriate) for the purchase of recycled and environmentally responsible products, all other considerations being equal.
The City of Casey is committed to achieving sustainability and ensuring it monitors and reports on council activities and programs that have an impact on or contribute to the environment including, but not limited to, the following:
- waste management
- energy management
- emission management
- water conservation
- green building design
Council recognises that it has an implicit role in furthering sustainable development through its procurement processes. In addition, Council recognises the potential impact that this spend has on the environment, and where applicable may integrate sustainability, environmental and social issues into the procurement process. Council aims to achieve this by:
- taking into account the need to minimise emissions and reducing the negative impacts of transportation when purchasing goods and services
- taking steps to minimise carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions through the detailed consideration of products and services procured
- considering the basic life cycle analysis of products to minimise the adverse effects on the environment resulting directly or indirectly from products
- raising staff awareness on sustainability considerations within the procurement process
Council seeks to purchase environmentally responsible products whenever they achieve the same function and deliver value-for-money outcomes. Council will therefore consider the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle environmental sustainability criteria.
Council is committed to a reduction in resource consumption and waste minimisation throughout the procurement cycle and will:
- encourage and prefer environmentally responsible products which are more power efficient
- select energy, fuel and water efficient products
- seek to purchase from a source which is less polluting or uses clean technology
- consider throughout procurement projects, the provision of re-usable products and recycling as part of the project planning process, including the consideration of whole-life costs and disposal considerations.
5.11.1 Buy Recycled
Council is committed to buy recycled/part recycled products to optimise consumption and stimulate demand for recycled products, promoting the collection and reprocessing of waste and working towards the minimisation of waste transfer to landfill.
5.11.2 Green the Supply Chain:
Council will encourage its suppliers to adopt good environmental practices. Council will actively promote green procurement throughout its supply chain and ensure selection which has minimum environmental impact.
5.12 Support of Local Business
Council is committed to buying from local businesses where such purchases may be justified on a Value-for Money criteria. Of primary importance is the need to encourage open and effective competition to ensure the best possible outcome for Casey. The procurement process must be transparent and undertaken without favouritism or bias. The degree of available competition will vary and may be dependent upon such things as the type of good or service and the number of potential suppliers.
With all factors being equal then Council may give preference to local economic benefit when sourcing products or services. These benefits must be identifiable & reasonable, and may take the form of:
- increased local employment
- increased activity and spend in the local economy with identifiable benefits
- the level of local content in the goods, services or works.
The application of local content shall have regard to the:
- Best Value Principles of the Local Government Act 1989
- Victorian Local Government Best Practice Procurement Guidelines 2013
- National Competition Policy (Competition and Consumer Act 2010)
5.12.1 Locally-sourced Healthy Food
Council is committed to the purchase of healthy food, where possible seasonal and locally sourced, for Council events, programs and services to enable people to make better food choices. Good nutrition is fundamental to health and aligns with Councils requirement to support public health and wellbeing, as outlined in the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan.
5.13 Social Procurement
Social Procurement generates positive outcomes by building on initiatives already undertaken by Council in enhancing sustainable and strategic procurement practice, further enabling procurement to effectively contribute towards building stronger communities and meeting the social objectives of Council.
Council is committed to Social Procurement by:
- ensuring all procurement practices are sustainable and strategically aligned with the wider Council objectives
- achieving value-for-money outcomes across the community through the use of effective procurement practices
- ensuring all businesses have the same opportunity to bid for Council business
- enhancing partnerships with other Councils, providers and community stakeholders
- building and maintaining a strong community by exploring ways to generate local employment (particularly among disadvantaged residents) and further strengthening the local economy.
6. Administrative Updates
It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to the need for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does not materially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively. Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to the name of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update to legislation which does not have a material impact. However, any change or update which materially alters this document must be by resolution of Council.
The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 30 September 2019.