The Local Jobs First Commissioner plays an important role in the delivery and implementation of the Local Jobs First policy and has been focussing on four key priority areas as part of our three-year strategy – Advocacy, Engagement, Monitoring and Compliance.
Whilst each priority area is important in the successful delivery of Local Jobs First obligations it is the area of compliance that is most often misunderstood.
The Local Jobs First Act 2003 grants the Commissioner compliance powers, enabling the Commissioner the ability to monitor, review and enforce compliance of the Local Jobs First Policy and related commitments and obligations.
To support organisations and agencies in meeting their contractual requirements and overcoming these barriers, the Commissioner has provided clarity and transparency of compliance functions through the Compliance Strategy.
The Compliance Strategy outlines how the Local Jobs First Commissioner will encourage, monitor and enforce compliance with the Local Jobs First Act 2003, Local Jobs First Policy and Local Industry Development Plans, with the Commissioner’s compliance powers applicable to projects only on and after 15th August 2018.
In the event the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe non-compliance has occurred, or when a complaint has been brought to the attention of the Commissioner, the Commissioner may proceed with an investigation.
All contractors within the supply chain have a legal obligation to adhere to their contractual requirements relating to Local Jobs First. Whilst compliance can be a difficult task, it is important to note that adhering to contractual obligations does not only benefit business but also enhances relationships with regulators and other stakeholders.
Compliance enables businesses the ability to streamline their processes, identify operational gaps and provides an opportunity to examine the quality of data and information throughout the organisation.
By providing these opportunities to businesses, we are not only ensuring they are compliant, but also supporting the efficiency of their business operations and processes.
The Commissioner has met with over one-hundred and fifty stakeholders since his appointment and has found that engagement during the early stages of a project is most beneficial, as it provides an opportunity to inform project leads on compliance and reporting requirements under Local Jobs First.
It is believed that early engagement during the project tender development phase will prevent and reduce compliance issues from occurring in the future.
Compliance need not be viewed as a simple tick in the box, but rather an opportunity to have significant positive benefits on business operations and increase local business participation in government procurement.
The Local Jobs First policy is continuing to provide opportunities for local businesses to be involved in government procurement, supporting the delivery of Local Jobs First and large-scale infrastructure projects across the state.
For more detailed information on compliance, click here.