Contracting for Construction Works with Defence: FACT SHEET

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This Fact Sheet is intended to provide interested parties with information associated with Government policies that underpin Defence procurement activities, particularly as they related to Defence construction projects.  This Fact Sheet is provided for information only and should in no way be considered as changing or qualifying information received in formal tender documents.


Commonwealth Procurement Rules

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) represent the Government Policy Framework which Commonwealth Agencies must follow when procuring goods and services.

Achieving value for money is the core rule of the CPRs.  This requires consideration of the financial and non-financial benefits associated with a procurement and not just the cheapest price offered.  Factors such as:

  • fitness for purpose
  • the performance history and experience of potential suppliers
  • flexibility (including innovation and adaptability over the lifecycle of the procurement)
  • environmental sustainability (such as energy efficiency and environmental impact)
  • whole-of-life costs

inform a value for money assessment.

When procuring good and services, Government officials responsible for procurement must ensure that their procurement activities encourage competition and use public resources in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner.

The CPRs contain procurement thresholds that determine the method by which goods and services are procured.  These thresholds are $80,000 for all non-construction related good and services and $7.5 million for construction services.  Any procurement above these thresholds must be undertaken via an open tender process. There is an optional exemption from the open tender requirement of the CPRs covering the procurement of goods and services from an SME with at least 50% Indigenous ownership.

Further details regarding Government procurement processes can be found on the Department of Finance web-site at the below link;


The Government’s centralised web-based procurement information system, AusTender provides a one-stop shop for the information businesses need to find, plan for and participate in open tenders.  Businesses seeking opportunities to sell to Government should register on AusTender for notification of business opportunities and planned procurements that match their business profile.

Businesses can register on AusTender at



There are a number of Government policies that are connected to, and implemented via Commonwealth procurement activities.  Those policies include;

Workplace Gender Equality

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (WGE Act) requires private sector employers of 100 or more employees to comply with minimum standards determined by the Act.  The Australian Government has adopted a policy of not purchasing goods or services from suppliers who do not comply with their obligations, if any, under the WGE Act.

Further details regarding the requirements of the Act can be found at

Indigenous Opportunities

The Indigenous Opportunity Policy (IOP) is a Commonwealth wide policy that must be considered by officials when undertaking procurement. The purpose of the IOP is to promote employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians. This is achieved by ensuring successful tenderers of certain Commonwealth government tender processes have in place (and implement) an IOP Administrator-approved Indigenous, Training, Employment and Supplier (ITES) plan.

The IOP applies to procurements:

  • that involve expenditure under a contract valued at over $5 million ($6 million in construction) (GST inclusive); and;
  • where the location of the main (or dominant) activity under the contract referred to in paragraph (a) is in a region with a ‘significant Indigenous population’.

Further details regarding IOP can be found at



Building Code 2013

The Building Code 2013 (the Code) sets out the requirements for all building contractors or building industry participants involved in Commonwealth funded construction projects.  The Code applies to building contractors and building industry participants that have tendered for, or expressed interest in, “building work” that is funded in whole or in part by the Commonwealth. Once covered by the Code in this way, building contractors and participants must meet the requirements of the Code in relation to all of their future “building work”, regardless of whether it is Commonwealth funded.

The Code contains a range of requirements.  The most significant of these are that businesses that have tendered for Code work must:

  • comply with all building industry laws, such as the FW(BI) Act and the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act);
  • comply with other relevant legislation including the Competition and Consumer Act 2010;
  • comply with all court and tribunal decisions, directions and orders;
  • not bargain for certain types of written agreements that, for example, cannot be certified, registered, Lodged or otherwise approved under a designated building law;
  • ensure that any person engaged as either an employee or a contractor is lawfully entitled to be so engaged under Australian law;
  • ensure that no one is coerced to make over award payments to their employees; and
  • ensure that they have an appropriate Work Health Safety & Rehabilitation management system in place proactively ensure compliance with the Code both within their own business and by any subcontractors.

Further details regarding the Code can be found at

OHS Accreditation Scheme

The Australian Government is committed to improving work health and safety outcomes in the building and construction industry. It achieves this via the Australian Government Building and Construction Occupational Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme which applies when the building work under the contract has a value in excess of $3 million (GST inclusive). To be assessed for accreditation, the Tenderer needs to submit an application addressing specific work health and safety criteria to the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner.

More information on the OHS Accreditation Scheme is available at or by contacting the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner on 1800 652 500.

Further enquires regarding the proposed works at the Cultana Training Area can be directed to the Commonwealth’s representative:


Mr Steven Almond

Project Manager


55 Grenfell Street


Ph (08) 82379721 Fax (08) 82379778



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