Ethical supplier mandate and ethical supplier threshold
We are committed to engaging with suppliers who deliver genuine, secure ongoing jobs with fair pay and safe working conditions for Queenslanders.
We developed the Ethical Supplier Threshold (the Threshold) and Ethical Supplier Mandate (the Mandate) as complementary policies for the Buy Queensland procurement approach.
The Threshold reflects the minimum legal responsibilities expected of all suppliers who want to do business with the Queensland Government. It applies to all Queensland Government suppliers in all categories.
The Mandate outlines how the Queensland Government will manage instances where a supplier fails to comply with a policy requirement, regulatory requirement, or contractual obligation and how penalties may be applied.
The Mandate and the Threshold are intended to drive positive behavioural change and are not intended to punish accidents or honest mistakes (that are found and corrected) but rather negligent, deliberate, and/or repeated behaviour.
The Ethical Supplier Threshold
The Threshold applied from 1 August 2019 to any procurement completed by a procuring agency covered by the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP).
The Threshold sets the standard for suppliers to do business with the Queensland Government. We want to work with businesses that are ethically, environmentally and socially responsible, and this includes suppliers that pay their workers fairly.
Find out more about the Ethical Supplier Threshold for suppliers.
The Ethical Supplier Mandate
The enhanced Ethical Supplier Mandate 2021 applies from 1 September 2021.
The Mandate complements the Threshold and will benefit suppliers as well as workers and the broader Queensland community by:
- ensuring suppliers are treated fairly and not exposed to undercutting and unjust competition
- making Queensland workplaces fairer and safer
- ensuring that Queensland taxpayers' money is used to build the local economy and support quality Queensland jobs.
The Mandate ensures businesses supplying to government uphold their social, economic and environmental commitments made in tenders and contracts, or required by policies or laws.
Key enhancements from the 2021 update
- Aggravated non-compliance — a new category of breach where 20 demerits and a sanction can be issued in severe cases of non-compliance.
- Contractual options to apply contract-based measures such as liquidated damages for breaches of the Mandate or Threshold or publication of information about sanctions.
- Compelling evidence of a breach having occurred (e.g. pay slips indicating underpayment of wages or superannuation, or Australian Taxation Office records, bank statements) without the need for a regulator decision.
- The Tripartite Procurement Advisory Panel (the Panel) to supersede the existing Procurement Penalties and Sanctions Committee (PPSC). The Panel will be an independent expert body and comprise of equal representation from employers and unions, chaired by an independent government appointee.
When will the changes apply?
The Mandate is being implemented in phases within budget sector agencies. The following categories commenced:
- 1 August 2019 for Building, Construction and Maintenance suppliers
- 1 October 2019 for Transport, Infrastructure and Services suppliers.
Suppliers in other categories of spend, and suppliers to government owned corporations and statutory bodies, may start to notice references to the Ethical Supplier Mandate in tenders and contracts from 2021.
See the table below for more information.
|Budget sector agencies||Government owned corporations||Statutory bodies||Special purpose vehicles|
|Ethical Supplier Threshold|
From 1 August 2019
|From 1 August 2019||From 1 August 2019||From 1 August 2019|
|Ethical Supplier Mandate|
Building, Construction and Maintenance category from 1 August 2019 Transport, Infrastructure and Services category from 1 October 2019, other categories determined in 2021.
|Determined in 2021||Determined in 2021||Determined in 2021|
The policy provisions outlined in the Ethical Supplier Mandate 2021 apply from the date of implementation.
Buying for Queensland Government
All officers conducting procurement on behalf of the Queensland Government will need to embed appropriate policy processes into all purchasing activities and procedures. This includes adding all necessary policy references and clauses into supplier contracts and ensuring the application of the Mandate and Threshold down the supply chain.
Government buyers need to:
- Check the register - Before proceeding with procurement, government buyers must check that suppliers are not subject to current penalties under the Mandate or Threshold. Procuring agencies must check the register before procuring, unless engaging a prequalified supplier, or completing a low-value threshold procurement.
- Investigate non-compliance - If government buyers are advised that a supplier may not have complied with the Threshold or breached the Mandate agencies are required to investigate. Guidance on this process will be available for buyers.
On 1 July 2018, a Compliance Branch was established to audit and handle complaints about supplier compliance under the Buy Queensland approach. The Ethical Supply Team within this Branch administer the Ethical Supplier Mandate and Ethical Supplier Threshold. Find out more about compliance.
Read the Mandate and Threshold
- Ethical Supplier Mandate 2021 (PDF, 659.11 KB)
- Guidelines: Ethical Supplier Mandate (PDF, 783.03 KB)
- Guidelines: Ethical Supplier Threshold (PDF, 818.45 KB)
- Last updated:
- 31 August 2021