Ethical Supplier Mandate for suppliers

The Ethical Supplier Mandate outlines how the Queensland Government manages instances where suppliers:

  • fail to meet requirements of the Queensland Procurement Policy
  • make commitments and don't follow though
  • breach contractual or policy requirements
  • break laws.

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The Mandate ensures that we conduct business with ethical, environmentally and socially responsible suppliers, and removes unethical behaviour from the supply chain.

Unethical behaviour includes:

  • a breach in a supplier's predetermined contractual obligations
  • actions that breach policy or laws.

The Mandate benefits suppliers, 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 jobs.

Note: The Mandate complements the best practice principles for procurement, which continue to apply to major and declared projects.

Who the Mandate applies to

The Ethical Supplier Mandate will apply to all suppliers and their subcontractors.

It imposes no additional burden on ethical suppliers—only suppliers who repeatedly breach contractual obligations, policies or laws, unless their conduct is due to an honest mistake, oversight or accident.

When the Mandate applies

The Ethical Supplier Mandate will apply progressively to all suppliers to the Queensland Government:

  • budget sector agencies
    • Building, Construction and Maintenance suppliers – 1 August 2019
    • Transport Infrastructure and Services suppliers – 1 October 2019
    • Other categories – in 2020
  • government owned corporations – determined in 2020
  • statutory bodies – determined in 2020
  • special purpose vehicles – determined in 2020.

How the Mandate works

If we suspect a supplier has breached their contractual obligation or hasn't complied with policy, the procuring agency investigates each allegation.

An independent public service body, formed by the Chief Advisor – Queensland Government Procurement, makes demerit and sanction determinations on behalf of the Queensland Government. This committee isn't involved in the investigation.

They make determinations on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the non-compliance.

Demerit point system

If we prove a supplier isn't complying with requirements, they will be issued demerit points.

The supplier is assessed against a sliding scale of non-compliance:

  • minor breaches – 2 demerit points
  • moderate breaches – 5 demerit points
  • major breaches – 10 demerit points.

If they accumulate 20 demerit points in a 12-month period, they face sanctions, including loss of prequalification status and exclusion from future government procurement tendering opportunities.

If a supplier is sanctioned and has an existing contract with government, any extension options under that contract won't be exercised.

Demerit points expire 1 year from the date they're issued.

We issue demerit points only for actions that occur and contracts that start after the Mandate commences. We don't apply them retrospectively.

Contracts for procurement covered by the Mandate will contain new provisions reflecting this.

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