Western Australia’s civil construction industry peak body welcomes the State Government’s new Western Australian Procurement Framework as a step towards simpler, smarter and more effective procurement of civil infrastructure works across Government.
Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said the Framework, supported by the new Procurement Act, could significantly streamline the way infrastructure projects are tendered and procured.
“This could be a game-changer that will reduce red tape, help create more long-term local jobs, and deliver greater value-for-money for taxpayers,” Mr Graham said.
“Let me be clear, though, that this is not about centralising procurement decisions – we know that doesn’t work, and we strongly support the proven principle that key decisions around project planning and design, contractor selection and project management are always best left to the agency responsible.
“What this is about, however, is getting government agencies on the same page where possible. For example, following agreed processes for advertising and evaluating tenders; using standard forms for safety and compliance; and using a standard construction contract with a consistent risk profile.”
Mr Graham said the Western Australain civil construction industry delivered large and small infrastructure projects for a wide variety of State Government agencies and corporations.
“They’re our industry’s biggest single client and we are of course grateful for the opportunities,” he said. “Right now though, all of these agencies and corporations do things very differently – their tendering processes and bid documentation vary widely and most have unique contracts and risk allocation, schedules, prequalification systems, and safety and environmental requirements.
“All of this translates to a massive waste of time and money for the contracting industry and for the Government, and a distraction from what we should all be focusing on – delivering high-quality infrastructure safely and efficiently.”
Mr Graham encouraged all Government agencies and corporations to embrace the new Framework and look at where they could start transitioning to the standardised templates and guides.
“Achieving standardised procurement practices right across Government will no doubt be a long and challenging journey, but the payoff will be worth it. Congratulations to the State Government for getting the ball rolling,” he said.