How Council Procures Goods & Services
The procurement process
Council procurement (purchasing) is guided by the Sound Contracting Principles set out in the Local Government Act 2009 which are:
- Value for money
- Open and effective competition
- Development of competitive local business and industry
- Environmental protection
- Ethical behaviour and fair dealing
How Council purchases goods and services
Each Council department has buyers who are responsible for sourcing the required goods and services in accordance with Council's policies and procedures. Understanding how Council purchases can improve a business's/supplier's chance of becoming a Council supplier.
The general requirements around purchases can be summarised as:
|How Council purchases goods and services|
|Purchasing items within an established arrangement||Purchasing items outside of an established arrangement|
|Up to $7,500||1 quote required||1 quote required|
|$7,500 - $15,000||1 quote required||2 quotes required|
|$15,000 - $200,000||2 quotes required||3 quotes required|
|$200,000||Request quotes from suppliers within the established arrangement||Open Tender|
Council may go out to the market and establish purchasing arrangements for those goods and services that are purchased in large quantities and on a regular basis across the whole organisation.
These purchasing arrangements enable Council to maximise purchasing benefits and obtain better value for money.
Council also uses purchasing arrangements set up by Local Buy Pty Ltd, which is the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) procurement services company responsible for establishing common-use procurement arrangements for Councils and Local Government authorities across Queensland.
Details of current Local Buy arrangements are available on the Local Buy website.
Selling goods and services to Council
There are a number of ways for a business/supplier to maximise its chances of doing business with Council. Council buyers can source quotes through the following portals, and a business/supplier must be registered with these portals to receive requests to quote from Council:
- Purchases greater than $200,000 (excl. GST) - VendorPanel Public Tenders
- Purchases up to $200,000 (excl. GST) - VendorPanel Marketplace
By registering at these portals in the categories (and sub-categories) that best represent the goods and/or services that are being sold, the business/supplier is raising Council buyers' awareness of that business/supplier when they are seeking quotations.
Council advertises its open tenders in local newspapers, on Council's website and on the VendorPanel Public Tenders website, and a business/supplier must be registered with VendorPanel Public Tenders to receive notifications when a tender is advertised.
Purchasing arrangements are formal agreements that are established after going to the open market place. This assists us in the purchasing of goods/services, without the need to obtain costly and repetitive quotations every time a need is identified.
The different types of arrangements used by Council include:
- Preferred Supplier Arrangements are established for categories of goods or services where the need for those goods and services are frequent and in large volume, where better value for money is possible by aggregation of demand, and the goods and services required are readily available within the market.
- Pre-qualified Suppliers are those that have been assessed as having the technical, financial and managerial capability to perform contracts on time and in accordance with agreed requirements, and from which quotes will be obtained when required for goods or services. Schedules of Rates are obtained in some categories of pre-qualified suppliers, and include price lists for goods or services which are designed to provide Council with known and stable pricing for the life or review term of the Arrangement. Being on a pre-qualified supplier arrangement does not come with a guarantee that Council will engage that business/supplier.
Whilst cost is a very important component in assessing supplier responses to an arrangement, it is not the only criteria that determines who is always the successful supplier.
Council may go out to market to create new or renew current purchasing arrangements, and invitations to be considered on these arrangements are advertised as open tenders in local newspapers, Council's website and on the VendorPanel Public Tenders website.
For procurements worth more than $200,000 (excl. GST), the main steps in the tender process are:
- A Probity Plan / strategy is prepared.
- An invitation to tender is prepared.
- The invitation is advertised.
- Suppliers respond.
- Tenders are evaluated and supplier(s) are selected.
- Contract is signed and managed.
- Unsuccessful suppliers are notified.
Businesses/Suppliers can access VendorPanel Public Tenders to:
- View details of current tenders
- View tender conditions, contracts, lodgement details and notifications
- Register to receive email notifications of tenders advertised by Council
- Submit and review forum questions and posts on active requests
Right to information
The Project Officer will supply information to suppliers who request feedback on their tender offers in terms of the following:
- The initial communications to an unsuccessful supplier must be through an unsuccessful letter. The letter puts the onus on the unsuccessful supplier to take action to seek further information if they desire.
- Debriefs if requested, are best carried out in person, and will be specific to the supplier's submission and how to improve future submissions. No comparative information regarding other suppliers will be provided during a debrief session.
- Information that has been made public via the approval process (i.e. Council Agenda item) may be made available to suppliers.
For general contract and tender enquiries please contact Procurement.
For queries relating to a specific tender currently open, please contact the listed project officer or place a forum post on the relevant VendorPanel Public tenders forum.
For all Accounts Payable enquiries please contact the Accounts Payable Officer.
See our list of current tenders out for response.
See our list of tenders awarded in the last 12 months.
See our list of Council policies for your additional information.