Procurement Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 22 April 2013.

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) To define the rules for procurement.

(3) The Procurement Procedure documents how to comply with this Policy.

Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies throughout the University to all procurement activities, regardless of the source of funding.

Section 4 - Policy

(5) All purchasers who commit or incur expenditure against any funds administered by the University (including funds provided by external sources such as research grants) are accountable for such expenditure and are responsible for ensuring Procurement is undertaken in accordance with the following principles:

  1. Value for money: price, fitness for purpose, fair market price, return on investment, whole of life costs, timely delivery, post-delivery support, effective warranty, risk management, and conformity to law
  2. Probity: use of a competitive process, security and confidentiality, identification of real or perceived conflicts of interest, accountability and transparency
  3. Sustainability
  4. Equity: fairness, impartiality, consistency and fairness of process.

(6) The procurement of goods and services can only be undertaken by purchasers holding a relevant delegation authority in accordance with the Financial Delegations Policy. There must be a legitimate business need for the purchase, and an approved budget.

(7) Any real or perceived conflict of interest in relation to procurement activities must be reported and managed in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

(8) Purchasers must not split the value of goods and services into components of a lesser value to avoid any requirement of this Policy or to subvert a financial delegation requirement.

(9) The Procurement Services Manager is responsible for the authorisation and approval of purchase requisitions and purchase orders and may reject any requisitions or orders that are not consistent with this Policy.

(10) The initiator of a requisition or order is not permitted to authorise that requisition or order.

(11) Probity plans and probity advisers must be used for all procurement activity that is greater than $1,000,000,and for procurement that is complex or is considered a high risk. Further detail and advice on the use of probity plans and advisers can be obtained from the Procurement Services Manager.

(12) Purchasers must not use University funds to procure:

  1. gifts valued at over $100 unless approved in advance and in writing by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), or the Vice-Chancellor in the case of the COO
  2. non-business staff functions, including farewells, valued at more than $25 per person or $500 in total (regardless of the number of staff involved), unless approved in advance by the COO, or the Vice-Chancellor in the case of the COO
  3. travel, entertainment or goods and services for family members and personal associates of staff, unless approved in advance and in writing by the COO, or the Vice-Chancellor in the case of the COO
  4. other goods and services deemed to be of a private nature, including the settlement of parking or traffic infringements incurred by an individual.

Standards

(13) Purchasers must ensure that the goods and services they procure on behalf of the University comply with relevant University and Australian standards and any legislation specifically related to the provision of the goods and services.

Gifts

(14) Purchasers involved in procurement activities are prohibited from accepting gifts or extensive hospitality from current or prospective suppliers. Modest hospitality (such as lunch, tea, coffee) associated with a meeting to discuss the procurement of goods and services is acceptable but restaurant lunches/dinners, the provision of alcohol or tickets to events is not. Suppliers should not pay for travel or associated accommodation when purchasers are travelling to view prospective goods and services. Purchasers must not accept any gifts from prospective suppliers (including minor items such as bottles of wine or chocolates) as this could be perceived to produce a conflict of interest.

Suppliers

(15) Suppliers with whom the University has a contract for goods and services where that contract was facilitated in accordance with this Policy will be deemed 'Contracted Suppliers' and their use by purchasers is mandatory, unless an exemption is granted by the COO (after advice from the Procurement Services Manager). Contracted Suppliers (and the process for gaining exemptions) are detailed on the Deakin Contracted and Preferred Suppliers website.

(16) Suppliers used on regular occasions may be deemed 'Preferred Suppliers' with their use restricted to the quotation requirements of Schedule A of the Procurement Procedure. Preferred Suppliers are detailed on the Deakin Contracted and Preferred Suppliers website.

(17) Goods and services provided by all suppliers should be subject to periodic review and/or market testing by the Sponsor area. Periods of engagement should generally be set at three years with two further one-year extensions.

Existing contracts and specific classes of purchase

(18) Purchasers will purchase goods and services from Contracted Suppliers, unless an exemption has been granted by the COO (after advice from the Procurement Services Manager).

(19) The COO (after advice from the Procurement Services Manager) may consider a request for a general exemption to the requirement to use contracted suppliers, where the goods and services are not subject to an exclusive contract. Any general exemptions will be listed on the Deakin Contracted and Preferred Suppliers website.

(20) Where there are no contracted or preferred suppliers, or a contracted or preferred supplier is not used, purchasers must select a supplier for the goods and services in accordance with the requirements of Schedule A of the Procurement Procedure based on the value of the proposed purchase.

(21) For travel-related goods and services, purchases must also be made in accordance with the Travel Policy.

(22) For workstations, printers, copiers/scanners and facsimile devices, purchases must be made through the Deakin University Workstation Scheme (DUWS) or the Deakin University Printer Scheme (DUPS) unless an exemption has been provided by the Director, eArchitecture to the use of either scheme. Exemptions should be sought and received in writing. The provision of an exemption in accordance with this clause will not override any other compliance requirements outlined in this Policy.

(23) When procuring information and communication technology (ICT) software, hardware or services, purchasers must comply with any current University ICT Standards.

(24) For motor vehicles, purchases will be made by the Executive Director, Campus Services, who will endeavour to maximise the purchase of environmentally-friendly vehicles that provide the best blend of suitability for purpose, lowest emissions and greatest fuel efficiency, with these factors to be equally weighted with economic considerations when investigating vehicle fleet purchases.

(25) Purchasers must notify the Financial Services Manager, Corporate Finance, of any proposed purchases where the transaction involves payment with a foreign currency, before undertaking the transaction (this does not apply to credit card purchases or approved staff travel).

Sustainability

(26) The University will endeavour to procure goods and services that are aligned with the objectives of the Environmental Sustainability Policy and Sustainable Procurement Strategy.

(27) The Procurement Services Manager will define sustainable procurement priorities and promote the principles of continuous sustainability improvement with suppliers.

Exemptions

(28) Where an exemption to a particular procurement requirement outlined in this Policy or the Procurement Procedure is necessary or a Sponsor area wishes to source the goods and services from only one supplier or not from a contracted supplier, then a Certificate of Exemption Form must be submitted to the Procurement Services Manager who will make a recommendation to the COO. The COO may grant an exemption to the procurement requirements outlined in Schedule A of the Procurement Procedure where:

  1. there is only one supplier in Australia, where specialist expertise is required, or where the goods and services can only be supplied by a particular supplier and no reasonable alternative or substitute goods and services exist
  2. no submissions from a quotation or tender process are received from suppliers, or submissions do not conform to the request documentation, or are deemed to be unsuitable
  3. the goods and services cannot be obtained in time under the required processes because they are urgently required ('urgent' is a term generally applied to a health, security or safety consequence or unforeseen event or occurrence and not to a lack of planning or foresight)
  4. the goods and services are either replacement parts from an original supplier, an extension of the original goods and services, or a continuing service for existing equipment and software upgrades or licensing (i.e. where a change in supplier would necessitate the procurement of goods and services that do not meet current operability or changeability requirements)
  5. the goods and services are a prototype
  6. the Victorian Universities Procurement Forum (VUPF) Open Use provisions or access to a Whole of Government or other approved purchasing scheme contract have been utilised
  7. the procurement of goods and services is specified as part of a government grant or similar arrangement
  8. in accordance with the Campus Planning Committee terms of reference, the procurement of architectural services for capital projects is up to $10 million (GST exclusive) in value
  9. movement from an information technology intellectual property software ownership default position is required
  10. a lesser process is to be conducted when normally another process would apply (e.g. the use of a select tender process when an open tender process would normally be required)
  11. the use of an alternative supplier in a category of activity that is covered by a contracted supplier/s
  12. exceptional circumstances exist as determined by the COO.

(29) An exemption only applies to the process of market engagement and does not excuse the procurement activity from other approval processes.

(30) The COO may refer a Certificate of Exemption to the Vice-Chancellor or a committee or subcommittee of the University for endorsement.

Tenders and quotations

(31) Purchasers must conduct a quotation process as outlined in the Procurement Procedure for the procurement of goods and services of a value less than $300,000 and a tender process for the procurement of goods and services of a value greater than $300,000, unless an exemption has been granted as outlined in clause 28 above.

(32) Purchasers must obtain authorisation to commence a tendering process from a staff member within their Sponsor Area or at an aligned higher level with a financial delegation for general expenditure of at least $300, 000 (GST exclusive) (refer to the Financial Delegations Policy).

(33) Wherever possible any tender request document must be prepared using a University standard form contract document as the basis of the document.

(34) A request for tender document must be approved by the University Solicitor and the Procurement Services Manager, Campus Services Division before the request invitation is released.

(35) Tenders must be released through an advertisement in a statewide newspaper and uploaded to the University's e-tender portal Tenderlink or by release to the open section of Tenderlink.

(36) The Procurement Services Manager will provide tender boxes for the lodgement of tenders by respondents and will open these tender boxes on behalf of the Sponsor area.

Records

(37) Accurate and complete records must be maintained throughout all procurement processes and filed in accordance with the University's Information and Records Management Policy and Information and Records Management Procedure, and the Procurement Procedure.

Payment terms

(38) Other than for corporate card purchases, all procurement activities are subject to payment in accordance with the University's terms and conditions, as defined by the Chief Financial Officer. The University will not pay in advance for goods and services except where a legitimate deposit is required to secure the goods and services. Any advance payment must be reflected in the contract for the goods and services.

Breaches

(39) Any breaches of this Policy by a staff member (or student) will be investigated and may lead to internal disciplinary proceedings and/or, if appropriate, criminal proceedings.

Section 5 - Procedure

(40) Refer to the Procurement Procedure.

Section 6 - Definitions

(41) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Goods and Services: the supply of equipment, consumables and like items (goods) or the provision of services or the execution of works (services).
  2. Procurement: the acquisition of goods and services by way of purchase, hire-purchase agreement, lease or other contractual arrangement. Procurement occurs through a purchase order, credit card payment, letter, agreement, contract, memorandum of understanding or similar written document.
  3. Purchase order: an order for the purchase of goods and services for the University.
  4. Purchase requisition: a request for the purchase of goods and services for the University.
  5. Purchaser: a staff member of the University or any other person or organisation authorised to undertake procurement activities on behalf of the University.
  6. Quotation: any procurement process valued at less than $300,000 (GST exclusive) conducted by the University via a select or open method and taking the form of an expression of interest (EOI), request for quotation (RFQ), request for proposal (RFP), request for information (RFI) or similar process.
  7. Sponsor area: that area of the University responsible for the purchase, receipt or ongoing use or management of the goods and services where the procurement process requires the conduct of a quotation or tender process.
  8. Supplier: an external individual, partnership or company engaged to provide goods and services to the University.
  9. Tender: a process that involves the procurement of goods and services valued at greater than $300,000 (GST exclusive), conducted by the University via a select or open method and taking the form of an expression of interest (EOI), request for tender (RFT), request for proposal (RFP), request for information (RFI) or similar type process.