The Local Jobs First Commissioner has been actively advocating for the use of Victorian goods and services on large-scale government procurement projects.
To ensure fair and equal opportunities in procurement and the Local Jobs First policy to work efficiently, it is vital during the project tender phase that design specifications are based on Australian standards and/or standards commonly used in Australia.
This includes ensuring design specifications are performance-based rather than brand specific where possible.
We often see in tender specifications the reference to specific brands or products. This not only restricts and deters the procurement process from being effective it also hampers the efficient delivery of the Local Jobs First policy by limiting the use of Victorian goods and services where applicable.
To prevent this issue occurring, design specifications must be clear and comprehensive but not discriminatory. It is expected and necessary that agencies and departments use generic technical specifications and avoid proprietary brand names during the tender phase.
Furthermore, references to a specific brand or product should only be used in exceptional circumstances and followed by the words ‘or equivalent’.
The Local Jobs First Act 2003 and policies are in place to assist in the investment and support of the local industry while generating employment. It applies to all parts of government procurement, including tender phases. The ongoing investment and growth of Victoria’s local industry is vital and plays an important role in providing economic benefits to the state.
Most importantly, in the preparation of product specifications as part of the tender process, these specifications should be written in a way where they do not rule out the use of locally manufactured products and take into consideration the use of local goods and services in the determination of key design decisions.
Local Jobs First Commissioner, Don Matthews said: “Design specifications should in no way disadvantage or restrict the procurement process. As the Local Jobs First Commissioner, I am here to advocate for local businesses and strongly support and encourage the use of Victorian goods and services on large-scale projects.”
To ensure we continue to create these opportunities, agencies and contractors are required to provide design specifications that are based on Australian standards and/or standards commonly used in Australia where applicable in order to support the growth of Victoria’s local industry.
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