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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:

  • ensure local, secure jobs for Queenslanders
  • support employment opportunities for apprentices and trainees.

What to make a complaint about

A relevant procurement complaint 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 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).

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 Procurement Policy Compliance Unit (the Compliance Unit).

Lodge a procurement complaint or contact the Compliance Unit:

What the Compliance Unit does

  • Coordinates and refers complaints to agencies who then investigate the complaints
  • Receives complaints relating to suppliers or agencies and the QPP
  • Monitors the types of complaints received and investigation outcomes to recommend policy or process improvements to benefit Queenslanders

What the Compliance Unit doesn't do

  • 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 advise agencies on how to manage a complaint 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 and we don't overrule their decisions.

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.

If you're unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, we can explain your options for referring your complaint to another relevant body, such as the Queensland Ombudsman.

Evidence required

The nature of your complaint will determine the evidence you need to provide.

You are responsible for providing sufficient evidence.

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

Time frames

The complexity of the complaint and the parties involved will determine how long it takes to resolve your complaint.

The agency concerned will tell you their time frames. We also monitor the progress of referred complaints to ensure they’re being dealt with promptly.

Anonymity

Tell us if you wish to lodge an anonymous complaint and we’ll discuss the options with you.

We make every attempt to keep complaints anonymous when requested.

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.