Procurement Update - April 2018 

Regional Contract and Procurement Committee 

I was very excited to facilitate the first project meeting of the Regional Contract and Procurement Committee. Despite best efforts, inclement weather meant that there were not quite as many Councils represented at the meeting as was originally planned however with the first years funding requiring acquittal by the end of June 2018 we decided to press on and it was very worthwhile with some great progress made.  Further information is available by contacting your individual Council committee members – if you’re not sure who that is please let me know. Unfortunately, the poor weather did delay the Regional Procurement Committee meeting also due to take place which will now be rescheduled.

Meeting with Coogee Chemicals

The Regional Water Treatment Committee also met with Coogee Chemicals for a contract meeting this month and we were pleased to hear details of the new depot currently being constructed by Coogee Chemicals in Cairns. The new depot will increase capacity from the 2 x 25,000 litre tanks currently available to 3 x 50,000 litres with capacity of a further 1 x 50,000. Construction is well underway with the concrete slab complete and the building works now underway ready for opening scheduled for mid-21018.  This is an exciting development for our region as it provides improved supply of a critical product that is in extremely high demand.

18/19 Bitumen Reseal and Sewer Relining

Planning for the 18/19 Regional Bitumen Reseal is now well underway and a potential Sewer Relining arrangement in development, it does not show any signs of slowing down.  However, I am still waiting for interested Councils to provide their data for sewer relining – if you are keen to get involved please ensure the data requested is provided by your Council as soon as possible. Hopefully there will be more to report on this next time!

Local Buy Conference

I attended the Local Buy conference on the Gold Coast last month. As always it was a great opportunity to network with likeminded Local Government Officers and to hear from some informative speakers on a range of subjects related to procurement and purchasing.  Speakers included:

  • Rebecca Andrew, Director Deputy-General, Office of Small Business who spoke about their work on developing and providing programs to prepare small business to pursue opportunities; 
  • Richard Cassidy Executive Director, Office of the Chief Advisor, Procurement who shared details of the Queensland Procurement Strategy,  and the Queensland Government’s new procurement policy which came into effect on 1 March 2018. Of particular note is that lowest price is no longer the focus of the new policy, which now considers other objectives such as local and indigenous employment and environmental impacts with a weighting of up to 30% is allowed for in relation to the local benefits test. Whilst Local Government procurement is quite clearly governed by its own quite separate ‘rules’ under the Local Government Act and Regs, it is a clear indicator of where the State is focused and possibly the direction local government legislation will eventually take.
  • Jodie Hely, Coordinator Commonwealth Games Procurement, City Procurement, City of Gold Coast who provided an overview of the Commonwealth Games from a procurement perspective.

Finance Officers Network

I also attended the Finance Officers Network meeting held at Cairns Regional Council. This meeting is facilitated by the Department of Local Government & Planning and is open to CEO’S and Finance and Procurement Managers/Officers and attendance is encouraged by all Councils for the purpose of networking and information sharing.  Amongst others, presentations at this meeting included:

  • Carrie Haines, Queensland Productivity Commission on Local Government Neutrality Requirements and
  • James Neilson, King & Co Solicitors regarding Beneficial Enterprises and Business Activities.
  • A statement was also provided by the Department together with comment by the LGAQ in relation to the 2017 Supreme Court Rating Resolution Decision. Presentations are available on request.