Ethical Supplier Mandate for suppliers

From 1 February 2024, the Ethical Supplier Mandate (the Mandate) applies to the procurement categories of General Goods and Services, Information and Communication Technology, Medical, Social Services and all future procurement categories under the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP).

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 of 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 is subject to the Mandate

When the Mandate applies

The Mandate has been expanded to all state-controlled entities and commencement dates for its application to specific procurement categories.

Entity Building Construction and Maintenance Transport Infrastructure and Services All other categories under the QPP (existing and future)
Budget sector agencies From 1 August 2019 From 1 October 2019 From 1 February 2024
Commercial entities
  • Queensland Rail
  • Seqwater
From 31 March 2023 From 31 March 2023 From 1 February 2024
Government owned corporations From 31 March 2023 From 31 March 2023 From 1 February 2024
Statutory bodies From 1 February 2022 From 1 February 2022 From 1 February 2024
Water entities
  • Mount Isa Water Board
  • Gladstone Area Water Board
From 31 March 2023 From 31 March 2023 From 1 February 2024

How the Mandate works

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

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

An independent body, called the Tripartite Procurement Advisory Panel (the Panel) makes demerit and sanction recommendations to the procuring agency.

The panel makes recommendations on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the breach.

The Mandate's penalty framework

From 1 February 2024, application of the Mandate's penalty framework will expand to suppliers who breach contractual obligations, policies and/or laws in all existing procurement categories under the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP) as well as any future categories. The expanded penalty framework will comprise:

  1. a whole-of-government component that operates uniformly across all procurement categories under the QPP
  2. and

  3. a category-specific component that is fit for purpose.

Penalties imposed under the Mandate take the form of demerit-points and sanctions (i.e. potential for a maximum 12-month ban from supplying to government) that are issued on the basis of a sliding scale:

  • minor breach – 2 demerit points
  • moderate breach – 5 demerit points
  • major breach – 10 demerit points
  • aggravated breach – 20 demerit points.

If a supplier accumulates 20 demerit points in a 12-month period, they face the potential for sanction—including loss of prequalification status and exclusion from future opportunities as a government supplier.

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

Penalties are issued for breaches of contracts that commence on or after the date the Mandate has been applied to the relevant procurement category. Penalties for breaches of contracts are not applied retrospectively and expire 1 year from the date they are issued.

Information on penalties under the Mandate for breaches of the Threshold is available at Ethical Supplier Threshold for suppliers.

Tender documentation and procurement contracts will contain provisions that reflect the Mandate's application.

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