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NSW New procurement guidelines for government tenders starts 01/07/13


NSW Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. Mike Baird has announced the new procurement Guidelines for the State's infrastructure projects that will come into effect on 1 July 2013.

The new Guidelines will affect construction companies that tender for NSW Government infrastructure work and stipulate how these companies are to manage and implement various industrial relations standards on projects and in enterprise agreements. The guidelines have not been significantly changed from the draft released last year.  The WHS requirements of the guidelines include:

  • service providers must meet their WHS obligations according to relevant laws
  • tenderers are expected to prove that they have an appropriate WHS management system operating within their individual enterprise
  • tenderers must demonstrate best practice and compliance with relevant safety laws and submit a Work Health and Safety Management Plan or Site Specific Safety Management Plan that addresses the following, at a minimum:

The important areas in respect of WHS management are: (extract from the Guidelines)

  • “processes for reviewing, updating and communicating the WHSMP;
  • provision of adequate WHS and rehabilitation resources during the project, including human resources, financial resources and technical resources;
  • details of the organisational structure as it relates to safety, including identification of key WHS personnel, key WHS responsibilities and accountabilities and key WHS reporting lines;
  • detailed risk management processes that can be applied to both the design and construction phases of the project;
  • processes for the preparation and communication of task specific safety procedures (eg (JSA’s) & SWMSs), including sample procedures for addressing common construction hazards and risks (eg work at heights);
  • processes for ensuring all persons working on the project receive necessary information and training, including general induction training, site induction training and task-specific training;
  • reporting and investigation of incidents resulting in (or with the potential to result in) personal injury and property damage;
  • reporting and responding to regulatory action;
  • strict adherence to lawful right of entry provisions;
  • emergency response and incident management processes, including identification of personnel with specific responsibilities and proposed engagement with emergency services prior to and during the project;
  • monitoring and auditing processes for the project, including frequency, responsible personnel and proposed response to non-conformance or noncompliance identified;
  • appropriate systems for case management and rehabilitation of injured workers;
  • appropriate record-keeping and document management systems; and
  • appropriate WHS and rehabilitation performance monitoring and reporting
  • consultation and WHS issue resolution
  • training and transfer of WHS knowledge"

The industrial relations requirements of the Guidelines require that:

  • tenderers must demonstrate past compliance with all applicable legislation and industrial
  • tenderers must commit to taking all reasonable steps to bring to an end unprotected industrial action, including by legal action where possible
  • tenderers must not enter into arrangements that restrict the efficient performance of work or contain provisions that restrict productivity improvement
  • tenderers must commit to taking all reasonable steps to bring to an end unprotected industrial action, including by legal action where possible

The Guidelines also expressly prohibit:

    • sham contracting
    • arrangements designed to avoid strike pay, relax right of entry requirements, avoid compliance with legislation and court orders or undermine freedom of association obligations
    • coercion or pressure to make over-award payments
    • various other arrangements contrary to the objectives of the Guidelines.

The NSW Guidelines place restrictions on the content of enterprise agreements which go well beyond the requirements of the law. While tenderers may have an agreement which complies with the Fair Work Act and the Commonwealth Building Code 2013, the same agreement may not comply with the new NSW requirements.


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