Procurement compliance: audit, complaints and investigation
The Queensland Government Procurement (QGP) Compliance Branch (previously the QPP Compliance Unit) has been established to ensure a level playing field where government suppliers and agencies meet their commitments under the:
- Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP)
- Ethical Supplier Threshold
- Ethical Supplier Mandate
- Best Practice Principles (BPP)
- Building and Construction Training Policy
- Local Benefits Test
- Queensland Government Food and Beverage Supplier Directory
The Compliance Branch is made up of the Buy Queensland Audit Unit, the Procurement Investigation Unit and the Strategy and Coordination Unit. These units work together to conduct audits and investigations, manage escalated procurement complaints, and ensure that suppliers deliver genuine, quality and secure ongoing jobs with fair pay and safe working conditions.
The data collected from audits, investigations, and complaints, informs our guidance material and policy development so we can continuously improve compliance with the Queensland Procurement Policy to deliver on the Buy Queensland approach.
Buy Queensland Audit Unit
The function of the Buy Queensland Audit Unit (BQAU) is to strengthen existing policies and initiatives through a program of compliance audits. Policies and initiatives are in place to provide guidance, and to further strengthen Queensland for Queenslanders.
The BQAU currently provides compliance support on the following policies and initiatives:
- Best Practice Principles.
- Building and Construction Training Policy.
- Local Benefits Test.
- Queensland Government Food and Beverage Supplier Directory.
Best Practice Principles provide guidelines for the highest possible standards of workplace health and safety, engaging in agreed numbers of trainees and apprentices and best practice industrial relations on major state government projects. Audits are conducted during the construction phase and at practical completion to assess the performance of suppliers engaged to work on these projects against their contracted commitments.
The Queensland Government's Building and Construction Training Policy aims to create employment opportunities and skills development for apprentices and trainees. It also focuses on increasing the economic independence of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders in the industry.
The BQAU in consultation with the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training (DYJESBT) and industry have developed the following template and guidance materials:
- Building and Construction Training Policy – Evidence Guide (PDF, 458.34 KB)
- Building and Construction Training Policy – Evidence Management Presentation (PDF, 2407.94 KB)
- Principal Contractor Evidence Validation Spreadsheet – sample template (XLSM, 120.87 KB).
These guidance documents are intended to assist principal contractors to understand the evidence required to support their New entrant and Other workforce training hours entries in the Training Policy Administration System (TPAS). The sample template is a tool that Principal Contractors may choose to use to manage their training hours and evidence.
The purpose of the Local Benefits Test is to evaluate the benefits that any supplier would bring to the local area. For example, a supplier located outside the local area could still provide a benefit using a local workforce or by using local businesses including manufacturing in the supply chain.
The Queensland Government Food and Beverage Supplier Directory supports the Queensland Government commitment to buy Queensland food and beverages for its events and corporate functions. The directory identifies caterers and suppliers of food and beverage products that support local business and jobs.
Procurement Investigation Unit
The function of the Procurement Investigation Unit (PIU) is to investigate Ethical Supplier Mandate and Ethical Supplier Threshold non-compliances resulting from audit activities and complaints for projects procured by Department of Energy and Public Works (EPW).
PIU manages all non EPW audit non-compliances and refers matters to a procuring agency of that project to investigate. As part of the referral process, PIU will provide evidence, assessment and quality assurance checks for the alleged non-compliances and further facilitate the referral to the relevant agency for investigation. Where a non-compliance relates to regulatory breaches, the matter is also referred to the relevant regulator.
PIU receives escalated procurement complaints relating to suppliers or agencies and the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP). After receiving a complaint or alleged non-compliance the unit will triage and assess the allegations and the evidence. All procurement related complaints that are not related to Ethical Supplier Mandate and Ethical Supplier Threshold are referred to the procuring agency to investigate.
For the matters that are referred to procuring agencies for investigation, PIU provides agencies with ongoing assistance in form of education and support. PIU will assist the agency in providing investigation templates, advising the approach and methodology of an investigation as well as monitor investigation progress. These outcomes are reported and used to recommend policy or process improvement to benefit Queenslanders.
Suppliers seeking inclusion in the Queensland Government Food and Beverage Supplier Directory and the COVID-19 Supplier Portal need to comply with the Queensland Government Supplier Code of Conduct. When requested by the agency, PIU will vet suppliers and check their application for suitability via an assurance and ratification process.
Strategy and Coordination Unit
The Mandate impacts government suppliers who breach the Threshold and/or their contractual obligations, policies, or laws; unless their conduct is due to an honest mistake, oversight, or accident. Under the Mandate, demerits are issued on a sliding scale for minor, moderate major or aggravated breaches.
The Threshold requires that government suppliers have not:
- paid (or paid the incorrect amount of) superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees in accordance with the law.
- treated employees as independent contractors when they are not or asked that they provide an ABN so that they could be treated as an independent contractor.
- entered into a labour hire arrangement with a person who is not licenced or where a supplier is an unlicensed provider under the Act.
- paid employees below the applicable modern award including for people with disability (suppliers must provide award-based wages using the Supported Wage System where appropriate).
- engaged persons on unpaid work trials or unpaid interns where they should be treated as employees
- contravened civil remedy provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or the Industrial Relations Act 2016.
Make a complaint about a procurement process
Suppliers, find out how to make a procurement complaint.
- Email: QPPCompliance@epw.qld.gov.au
- Phone: 1300 10 50 30, option 1 (9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday).
Buy Queensland audits
- Email: BuyQLDAudit@epw.qld.gov.au
- Phone: 1300 10 50 30, option 2 (9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday).
Ethical Supplier Mandate and Threshold
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 1300 10 50 30, option 3 (9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday).
- Last updated:
- 2 November 2023