NSW Government procurement information

The overarching requirement for NSW Government procurement activities is to achieve best value for money in supporting the delivery of government services, while being fair, ethical and transparent.

Here you will find guidance on procurement policy and requirements that is relevant to all procurement categories.

For more information about NSW Government procurement policy, please contact the NSW Procurement Service Centre. Or, for information on individual agency procurement requirements, please contact the agency's corporate procurement function or Chief Procurement Officer (CPO).

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Procurement policy framework

The NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework provides a consolidated view of government procurement objectives and the Procurement Board’s requirements as they apply to each step of the procurement process.

The framework applies across all departments, statutory authorities, trusts and other NSW Government entities.

State Owned Corporations, local councils and the Parliament of NSW are exempt although they are encouraged to adopt aspects of the policy that are consistent with their corporate intent.

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Value for money

The overarching requirement for procurement is that a government agency achieves best value for money in the procurement of goods, services and construction.

The statement on value for money helps decision makers to make informed and supportable decisions about value for money.

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Promoting competition

Fair and open competition improves outcomes for NSW by broadening access to government procurement, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and regional businesses. Effective competition leads to greater efficiency and innovation in procurement.

View information on promoting competition in government.

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Corruption prevention, fairness and probity 

Government has an obligation to ensure its procurement conduct is always fair, ethical, transparent and probity rich.

Agencies and buyers are accountable for their procurement decisions and ensuring the probity of their procurement activities.

View guidance on corruption prevention, fairness and probity

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Probity advisers and auditors

Using probity advisers or auditors on procurement projects should be the exception rather than the rule.

Engaging a probity adviser or auditor is not a substitute for good management practices, nor does it remove agency accountability for the probity of procurement activities or decision-making.

View guidance on using probity advisers and auditors.

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Supplier conduct and Code of Practice for Procurement

The NSW government’s commercial partners and suppliers are expected to conduct their business relationships in accordance with the law and accepted standards of behaviour at all times.

The Code of Practice of Procurement (PDF, 109 KB) applies to construction procurement and outlines the philosophy, obligations and standards of behaviour applicable to all parties in the supply chain during the procurement process.

The New South Wales Industrial Relations Guidelines: Building and Construction Procurement (PDF, 419 KB) apply to building and construction companies that bid or tender for NSW Government infrastructure work. The guidelines detail contractor obligations to comply with relevant legislation, court orders and industrial instruments, and to safeguard productivity, safety and freedom of association.

View guidance on supplier conduct, the Code of Practice for Procurement and the Industrial Relations Guidelines.

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Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement focuses on spending public money efficiently, economically and ethically to deliver value for money on a whole of life basis.

Sustainable procurement extends the assessment of value for money beyond the sourcing process, considering benefits and risks to the organisation, the community and the economy, and the efficiency use of resources.

View more information on sustainable procurement.

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Resource efficiency

The NSW Government's Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) (PDF, 1.34 MB) aims to reduce the operating costs of NSW Government agencies and ensure they provide leadership in resource productivity. 

The policy drives resource efficiency by NSW Government agencies in four main areas – energy, water, waste and air emissions from government operations. 

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Engaging with industry

Effective communication improves industry awareness of government procurement opportunities and increases transparency.

Engaging early and giving advance notice of procurement opportunities helps industry make the most of government business opportunities.

View more information on engaging with industry.

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Approaching the market 

There are many ways to buy goods and services for NSW Government, but in all cases the overarching requirement is to achieve value for money.

Agency officers should refer to their agency delegations manuals and procurement policies to ensure they comply with individual agency requirements.

View guidance on approaching the market.

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Plan, Source, Manage approach

Procurements follow three stages: planning, sourcing and managing the procurement. This approach is common to all categories of procurement, however the relative importance of the different stages will depend on the size and type of procurement.

Key elements of the approach are early industry engagement and outcomes-focused rather than process-driven procurement solutions.

Learn more about the Plan, Source, Manage approach.

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Commercial approaches in contracts

Lowering barriers to participation expands opportunities to a broad supply base, especially small and medium businesses. 

The Procurement Board recommends standard commercial approaches to key contract terms, including insurances, indemnities, proportionate liability, dispute resolution and allocation of intellectual property.

These recommendations balance the need for prudent risk management with making government procurement more accessible for all types of suppliers.

View recommended commercial approaches in contracts.

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Government procurement planning, management and decisions must be properly recorded to ensure the accountability and transparency of government commercial practices.

Records must to be kept in accordance with the State Records Act 1998 and agency requirements.

View guidance on procurement recordkeeping

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Public disclosure

Transparent, competitive processes build trust in government procurement practices and decisions, drive fair and ethical behaviour, safeguard probity and foster healthy working relationship between government buyers and suppliers. 

The NSW Government is committed to transparency in its tendering and contracting practices. The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 defines minimum disclosure requirements for government contracts with the private sector.

View guidance on public disclosure of procurement information.

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Procurement complaints

Agencies have a responsibility to resolve complaints concerning their procurement actions. Complaints can be escalated to the Procurement Board if they cannot be resolved at the agency level, provided the agency has had sufficient opportunity to resolve the complaint.

View information on making procurement complaints.

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Other procurement-related policies

There are a range of government policies that may affect government procurement activities. A number of relevant policies maintained by other government entities are listed below.

Benefits realisation management

The Benefits Realisation Management Framework provides a framework of best practice principles and concepts in setting up, managing programs and benefits realisation across NSW agencies.

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Cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an evidence based method for systematically organising and presenting information to help government understand all the impacts of policies and projects, including economic, social and environmental impacts.

Agencies should use the NSW Government Guide to Cost Benefit Analysis guide when assessing all significant government projects during the procurement planning phase.

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NSW Government agencies are required to use of the Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) for all government insurance requirements.

The TMF provides member agencies with unlimited cover worldwide including workers compensation insurance, general insurance and travel protection.

Construction projects

Insurance for construction projects is arranged through icare.

  • Construction projects valued over $10 million – agencies must arrange Principal Arranged Insurance (PAI) through icare.
  • Construction projects valued under $10 million – agencies may decide if PAI is required. PAI must be organised through icare if the agency decides to insure the project.
  • View guidance on insurance policies for construction.
  • View the Treasury Circular TC12-12 Mandatory use of the TMF for all Government insurance requirements
  • View Treasury Circular TC16-11 Mandatory principal arranged insurance for all major capital works projects.

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Privately financed projects

Public Private Partnerships offer opportunities to improve services and achieve better value for money in the development of service based infrastructure.

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Unsolicited proposals

The Guide for submission and assessment of unsolicited proposals (PDF, 777 KB) outlines a transparent and streamlined approach that is facilitating the NSW Government and private sector working together to develop and deliver innovative ideas.

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