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 approach for government contracts to:

  • increase participation of local suppliers and secure jobs for Queenslanders
  • support employment opportunities for apprentices and trainees.

What to make a complaint about

A procurement complaint can be made if it relates to the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP).

Under this policy, all procurement activities should:

  • focus on economic benefit to Queensland (e.g. a contractor promised to use quality local materials but then used lower quality, imported products)
  • maximise Queensland suppliers' opportunities to participate (e.g. a local supplier capable of performing the contract wasn't invited to tender)
  • support regional and remote economies (e.g. an out-of-town supplier committed to using local workers but didn't)
  • stimulate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and drive innovation (e.g. a local ICT subcontractor has an innovative solution but can't find a government contractor to adopt it)
  • focus on environmental and social procurement outcomes (e.g. procurement of Australian-sourced, environmentally accredited paper product was not considered).

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)
  • non-compliance with the QPP and the Buy Queensland approach.

How to make a complaint

Step 1: Seek feedback from the procuring agency

Before making a complaint, seek feedback about why your offer wasn't successful from the government agency that managed the procurement process.

The feedback can only be about your offer. It can't cover:

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

Step 2: Raise your concerns with the procuring agency

If you wish to make a complaint after getting feedback, lodge your complaint with the procuring agency.

To do this, first see whether the procurement documents provide the details of a 'complaints officer'. If so, address your complaint to that person.

If a complaints officer isn't provided, check the agency's website (usually under the 'contact us' section) for where to submit your complaint.

Step 3: Lodge a complaint with Queensland Government Procurement

If you're not satisfied with the response from the procuring agency, you can lodge a complaint with the government's Queensland Government Procurement Compliance Branch (the Compliance Branch).

Lodge a procurement complaint or contact the Compliance Unit:

  • Receives, coordinates and refers complaints to agencies or relevant regulator who then investigate the complaints
  • Receives complaints relating to suppliers, agencies or the QPP
  • Monitors the types of complaints received and investigation outcomes to recommend policy or process improvements to benefit Queenslanders
  • Appealing an agency decision: If the relevant agency has resolved your complaint, you can't appeal the decision to us as that isn't our role. We can refer your complaint to the agency for review if this hasn’t occurred already.
  • Overruling an agency decision: We don't instruct agencies on how to investigate complaints but we do check on their progress. Agencies are solely responsible for their investigation outcomes and we don't overrule their decisions.
  • Overruling a regulator's decision: If you have already received a ruling by a regulator (e.g. Queensland Ombudsman) on the outcome of a complaint, you can't appeal the decision to us as that isn't our role. Regulators are solely responsible for their investigation outcomes.

Step 4: Pursue further options

If you still have concerns after taking these steps, you may consider these 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 Compliance Branch will require evidence to support any allegations requiring investigation.

We can guide you through the evidence process if you lodge your complaint with the QPP.

Time frames

The Compliance Branch 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 on how long it takes CCR to assess your complaint and refer it to the relevant procuring agency.

Once the complaint is referred to the procuring agency, the Compliance Branch 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 Compliance Branch 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.