- McGowan Government delivers election commitment for procurement reform
- The debarment regime will give Government the power to suspend or debar suppliers
- New regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2022
- Regime will protect public funds and maintain public confidence in government contracting
Businesses that engage in illegal activity can now be banned from tendering for government projects, or have current contracts cancelled, under new procurement reforms introduced by the McGowan Government.
The new regulations represent Australia's first debarment regime and aim to improve business practices and enhance integrity in procurement.
The debarment regime covers a range of offences from fraud to breaches of occupational health and safety legislation, meaning more protection for workers.
In the worst cases of wrongdoing such as a supplier being convicted of fraud, bribery or corruption, the new regime could be used to prevent these suppliers from doing business with the Government.
The debarment regime will ensure:
- suppliers can operate on a level playing field and do not need to adjust their own business practices to compete with competitors who are engaging in corruption;
- State Government agencies can act with increased confidence in working with suppliers who are not debarred; and
- public funds are protected by removing potential losses stemming from criminal activity by suppliers.
Included as part of the State Government's procurement reforms, the new regulations are one tranche of a wider election commitment towards ethical procurement.
The regime will apply to suppliers who supply and subcontract to supply goods, services, community services and works to the Western Australian Government. It also applies to suppliers and subcontractors who propose to supply to the State.
There will be three categories of debarment conduct with the most serious conduct leading to suppliers being debarred for up to five years.
Comments attributed to Finance Minister Tony Buti:
"Dodgy practices have no place in government contracting and these laws will give us the power to ban businesses that engage in unlawful conduct.
"Such businesses can undermine fair competition, which has flow-on impacts to workers and wider economic growth.
"The debarment regime excludes from government contracts, at a whole of government level, suppliers who do not run their businesses responsibly.
"This will help to ensure public funds are safeguarded, workers are more protected and public confidence in government contracting is maintained.
"In certain situations, suppliers or contractors can be excluded from supplying to government for five years where they have engaged in serious misconduct."
Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The WA Government is one of the biggest suppliers of goods and services in the State. The establishment of this debarment regime reflects the Government's commitment to good corporate responsibility and helps ensure our workers are protected.
"This announcement sets the bar high on the standard we expect for all workers engaged under Government contracts.
"The message is really clear; if you are convicted of fraud, bribery or corruption, you will not be doing business with the WA Government.
"I'm really proud that the McGowan Government has moved to establish this regime in what is an Australian first."
Finance Minister's office - 6552 6400
Industrial Relations Minister's office - 6552 5800