Make a procurement complaint

You have the right to make a complaint about any Queensland Government procurement process.

Our complaints process ensures everyone plays by the rules of the Buy Queensland 2023 approach to government procurement.

What to make a complaint about

A procurement complaint can be made to the Procurement Investigation Unit (PIU), Queensland Government Procurement Compliance Branch if it relates to the Queensland Procurement Policy 2023 (QPP) and if the procuring agency has not addressed the complaint.

We assess and refer complaints about the application of the QPP, including:

  • supplier or agency behaviour (e.g. not providing quality local jobs)
  • agency decisions (e.g. not buying local)
  • and
  • non-compliance with the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP) and the Buy Queensland 2023 approach.

How to make a complaint

Step 1: Raise your concerns with the procuring agency

In the first instance, all complaints should be made to the procuring agency responsible for the procurement process.

To make a complaint, refer to the procurement documents that contain the details of the procurement officer or complaints officer and communicate your complaint to that person.

If the contact details of a procurement officer or complaints officer are not provided, check the 'contact us' section of the agency's website for where to submit your complaint.

If your complaint relates to an offer you submitted that wasn’t successful, you first need to request feedback about your offer from the government agency that managed the procurement process prior to making a complaint.

The feedback you request can only be about your offer and cannot cover:

  • the procurement process itself
  • the outcome
  • the merits or shortcomings of other offers.

Step 2: Lodge a complaint with the Procurement Investigation Unit (PIU)

If you're not satisfied with the response from the procuring agency, or if the agency has not addressed your complaint, you can lodge a procurement complaint or contact the PIU directly:

  • Receives escalated procurement complaints relating to suppliers, agencies or the QPP.
  • Coordinates and refers complaints to agencies to investigate.
  • Assesses the complaint against the QPP principles.
  • Refers the complaint to the relevant procuring agency and provides advice on the process the agency should follow.
  • Monitors the types of complaints received, reports on agencies' investigation outcomes and provides policy recommendations or process improvements to benefit Queenslanders.
  • Appeal an agency decision: If the relevant agency has resolved your complaint, you can't appeal the decision to the PIU. The PIU can only refer your complaint to the agency for decision review if this hasn't occurred already.
  • Veto an agency decision: The PIU doesn't instruct agencies on how to investigate complaints as each agency follows its own complaints management process; however, it will check on the progress of referred complaints. Agencies are solely responsible for their investigation outcomes and the PIU does not overrule another agency's decision.
  • Veto a regulator's decision: If you have already received a ruling by a regulator (e.g. WorkSafe Queensland) on the outcome of a complaint, you cannot appeal the decision to the PIU as regulators are solely responsible for their investigation outcomes.
  • Investigate procurement complaints relating to local government or the Australian government.

Step 3: Pursue further options

If you still have concerns after taking these steps, you may consider the following options, depending on the situation:

  • Contact the Queensland Ombudsman, which investigates complaints about actions and decisions of Queensland public agencies that may be unlawful, unreasonable, unfair, discriminatory or otherwise wrong.
  • Contact the Crime and Corruption Commission, which investigates concerns about official misconduct.
  • Consider taking legal action. Seek independent legal advice before taking this step.

Evidence required

The PIU will require evidence to support any allegations requiring investigation.

Time frames

The PIU will endeavour to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint within 3 business days.

The complexity of the complaint and the number of stakeholders involved may impact how long it takes the PIU to assess your complaint and refer it to the relevant procuring agency.

Once the complaint is referred to the procuring agency, the PIU is required to make follow up enquiries with the procuring agency about the progress of the investigation.

The procuring agency will also be instructed to provide responses to you directly.

Confidentiality

Complaints will be dealt with in a confidential manner that is respectful to both the complainant and the respondent. Reasonable steps will be taken to protect information from loss, unauthorised access, use, disclosure or any other misuse during the complaint handling process if requested. However, the PIU cannot give an assurance of absolute confidentiality, given statutory obligations and principles of natural justice.

There may be instances where we need to provide information to third parties, such as the Crime and Corruption Commission or Queensland Ombudsman. Any information we provide will be in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009.