As the financial year has ended, it seems the perfect time to talk about the importance of record keeping and improved business procedures.

The Local Jobs First Commissioner has four main functions – Advocacy, Engagement, Monitoring and Compliance.

Whilst the Commissioner works hard to advocate and support the local industry, the Commissioner also has an important role in the monitoring and compliance of large and small government procurement projects.

The Local Jobs First Act 2003 grants the Commissioner compliance powers that enable the Commissioner the ability to monitor, review and enforce compliance of the Local Jobs First Policy and related commitments and obligations.

The Commissioner has powers to audit any party engaged in the delivery of a government project and can issue a Request for Information notice to any party involved on the project seeking information relevant to their commitments under the contract.

All contractors within the supply chain and government departments have an obligation to adhere to their contractual agreements. To simplify the process for all those involved in government procurement including all layers of the supply chain, it is important to ensure all record-keeping is up to date and can be easily accessed when needed, including maintaining monthly reporting on  Local Jobs First obligations.

Whilst government agencies and head contractors have a responsibility to ensure that these records are up-to-date and stored appropriately, it is important to emphasise that sub-contractors also have a responsibility to maintain records and documents to be able to verify invoices, payslips and numbers of hours worked by apprentices and cadets.

This not only simplifies the process when dealing with regulators but also streamlines business procedures for the organisation overall with the ability to source information when required in a timely manner.

To ensure compliance with Local Jobs First reporting requirements, businesses are encouraged to have a good data management and record-keeping system in place to not only optimise their business operations but also simplify and streamline the process for regulators in the event of an audit or a Request for Information notice is issued.

The Local Jobs First Commissioner and Office are committed to supporting local businesses and have provided a Compliance Framework to ensure local industry and businesses have a better understanding of compliance and monitoring requirements.

Given the benefits of record-keeping, and to avoid being non-compliant with the Local Jobs First policy, data management should not be looked at as a challenge but rather as an opportunity to improve business practices.

Further information regarding compliance and monitoring can be accessed here.