Whoops!

It looks like the internet browser you're currently using is an older version not currently compatible with this website. If you proceed, note that the site might not work or look as intended.

Please update your browser to ensure that the Industry Link website functions and displays as it should.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the categories below to find answers to a range of frequently asked questions. 

Summary and Context

Why is government procurement important to Western Australia's small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)?

The State Government is one of the largest customers in the Western Australian economy. Over the last financial year, State Government Sector agencies reported spending over $27 billion on procurement of goods, services and works. Government procurement is important to local SMEs because it is generally conducted in an open and transparent fashion and offers a source of regular income with invoices paid within 30 days. Supplying to government is also a good reference site and can be a stepping stone to other markets and supply opportunities.

 

Why are the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) and Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) needed?

The State's economy is adjusting to the transition in resource investment and a relative slowing in the residential building sector. Therefore every opportunity for employment generation and retention, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises, must be maximised. The WA Jobs Act and WAIPS aims to ensure government spending results in more opportunities for local businesses and more jobs for Western Australians.

 

Which states does the government consider to be models for what Western Australia could achieve?

Victoria, South Australia and Queensland have similar local content policies or legislation in place. The Victorian Government has had the legislation in place for over a decade and has reported success in increasing the level of local and intrastate procurement.

Western Australian Jobs Act 2017

What is the purpose of the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017?

The purpose of the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) is to use the State Government procurement process to enhance local industry participation in the supply of goods and services to or for agencies or the State, with a particular focus on benefits to small and medium sized enterprises.

The WA Jobs Act is the first piece of legislation that applies to almost all State Government agencies and forms of procurement. The WA Jobs Act aims to provide potential suppliers with an open, effective and competitive market, with more opportunity for local participation. It also puts a focus on the reporting of economic outcomes of local industry participation.

 

What are the key aspects of the WA Jobs Act?

The key aspects of the WA Jobs Act include:

  • The development of the WAIPS.
  • Obliges all agencies to require participation plans in the procurement of certain supplies, above designated values.
  • To assess and consider participation plans in the procurement process, and incorporate supplier commitments into supply contracts which require reports on achievement of these commitments.
  • The determination of strategic projects.
  •  The Minister for Jobs reporting to Parliament on outcomes.  
     

Which Government agencies will the WA Jobs Act apply to?

The WA Jobs Act and Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy will apply to "agencies", which can be defined as:

  • All departments, all sub-departments and all statutory bodies which are "agencies" within the meaning of the Financial Management Act 2006, except universities.
  • Government Trading Entities, including their subsidiaries as defined within the following Acts established by or under the Electricity Corporations Act 2005, Port Authorities Act 1999, the Water Corporations Act 1995, and Western Australian Land Authority Act 1992.
  • Any other person or body, or person or body of a class, prescribed in regulations.

 

Which Government supplies will the WA Jobs Act apply to?

The WA Jobs Act and WAIPS requirements will apply to a range of procurements, including goods, services, housing and works beyond relevant monetary thresholds.

 

Does the WA Jobs Act apply to supplies to Local Government?

No. Local Governments are currently not covered by the WA Jobs Act.

 

Does the WA Jobs Act and WAIPS apply to supplies to universities?

No. Universities are currently exempt.

 

Are exemptions available?

Yes, agencies may apply to the Minister for Jobs to be exempted from the obligation to require a participation plan.

 

Will every ministerial exemption from a participation plan be published on the respective agency website?

Yes, all ministerial exemptions will be published on the respective agency website.

Key Definitions

Why is "local" defined as it is in the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017?

The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) defines local industry as suppliers of goods produced, or services provided, in Western Australia, another Australian State or Territory or New Zealand.

This definition ensures the WA Jobs Act is consistent with both Section 92 of the Australian Constitution and the Australia and New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement (ANZGPA).

 

Why does the WA Jobs Act specify a particular focus on small and medium sized enterprises?

The WA Jobs Act defines a small and medium enterprise (SME) as a business with less than 200 full time equivalent employees. SMEs make up 97% of industry in Western Australia. There are various free trade agreements (FTAs) that apply to Western Australian Government procurement which prevent discrimination against suppliers on the basis of their origin or the origin of their goods or services. However, these FTAs also preserve government measures to support local SMEs in the context of government procurement, as is occurring in this case.

 

What is the definition of a strategic project?

The WA Jobs Act defines a strategic project as a supply that the Minister for Jobs considers to be of strategic significance to the local economy and has the potential to generate significant amount of economic activity and jobs within Western Australia.

The Minister must make a determination in writing for all strategic projects and give that to the procurement agency responsible for the supply.

 

What is the purpose of the 'strategic project' framework in the WA Jobs Act?

The strategic project framework allows the Minister for Jobs to:

  • Specify particular matters for potential suppliers to address in participation plans.
  • Identify matters which differ from those contained in a normal participation plan and may relate to specific aspects of local participation.
  • Invite commitments in relation to those matters, rather than imposing requirements for local industry participation on strategic projects or the supplier.

 

Will there be differentiation between existing local firms and firms locating here from overseas?

If an overseas or interstate business comes to WA and establishes a permanent base for its business here, their business would be considered local.

 

What is meant by “Value for Money” and how is it calculated?

Value for money continues to be a key principle for selecting government suppliers. Historically, ‘value for money’ is a balanced judgement of a range of financial and non-financial factors, taking into account the mix of quality, cost and resources; fitness for purpose; total cost of ownership and risk.

The Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy introduces a new factor that will be weighted in the overall tender score and form part of the overall value for money equation. This will be the participation plan score which will represent up to 20% of the overall tender score. The plan will commit the bidder to a plan to maximise participation of local industry and quantify the number of new jobs, jobs retained, apprenticeships & traineeships created as a direct result of being awarded the contract.

Properly applied, the inclusion of participation plans in the value for money calculation should add value by benefiting local suppliers through additional work or supply contracts. This in turn should intrinsically create jobs achieving the objectives of the WA Jobs Act.

Requirements for Businesses and State Government Agencies

What does the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 and Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy require of State agencies?

The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) and the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) obliges all State agencies to:

  • Require each prospective supplier to submit a participation plan as part of their tender bid for all contracts above designated thresholds.
  • Assess and consider the participation plan in the procurement process, in accordance with the WAIPS.
  • Incorporate relevant participation plan commitments in the supply contract, in accordance with the WAIPS.
  • Include reporting requirements in the supply contract, in accordance with the WAIPS.
  • On request, provide information to the Minister for Jobs to assist with reporting to Parliament.

 

What does the WA Jobs Act require of prospective suppliers?

While most of the requirements of WA Jobs Act relate to agencies, there are some requirements that will impact on prospective suppliers. These include:  

  • Providing a participation plan as part of their tender bid.
  • Including participation plan contents within the supply contract.
  • Including a reporting clause within their supply contract.
  • Reporting on participation plan commitments.

 

How will suppliers be held accountable for the commitments they make in participation plans?

Agencies are required to ensure that a reporting clause is included within the supply contract. Agencies will be responsible for deciding the appropriate course of action if commitments are not fulfilled. It is expected that this will occur through normal contract management and referee activities.

 

How will agencies be held to account?

Agencies must provide the Minister for Jobs with any information required for preparing an annual report for Parliament on the implementation of the WA Jobs Act and the WAIPS.

Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy

What is the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS)?

The WAIPS was developed to give effect to the objectives within the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act).  The WAIPS is designed to increase participation by local industry in the delivery of State Government agency contracts. The WAIPS aims to enhance the opportunity for local industry, particularly small and medium enterprises to compete for State Government agency work.

The WAIPS applies to all forms of procurement (goods, services, housing and works) above designated values. The WAIPS applies to departments, agencies, statutory authorities and government trading entities. The WAIPS does not apply to universities, local government procurement and grants.

 

What are the key components of the WAIPS?

There are five key components of WAIPS: procurement related principles and policies; value for money; participation plans, strategic projects, and regional procurement.

Procurement related principles and policies

The principles of accountability and probity, open and effective competition, transparency in decision making and value for money are key considerations in the development of the WAIPS. The WAIPS also includes elements from the existing Buy Local Policy and Building Local Policy that support fair and reasonable opportunity for regional industry and businesses.  

As required by the WA Jobs Act, the WAIPS is consistent with State Supply Commission procurement principles and policies and Section 92 of the Australian Constitution.

Value for money

Value for money continues to be a key principle for selecting government suppliers. Value for money is a balanced judgement of a range of financial and non-financial factors, taking into account the mix of quality, cost and resources; fitness for purpose; total cost of ownership and risk. Properly applied, the value for money principle should benefit local suppliers due to its inclusion of risk management issues.

Participation plans
 
The WAIPS requires prospective suppliers to complete and submit a participation plan as part of their tender bid above relevant thresholds.  Depending on the value of the supply contract, they may need to prepare either a “core” or “full” participation plan. Participation plans will be used as part of the evaluation, award and contracting process.

Strategic projects

Projects with a contract value of $25 million or more that the Minister for Jobs considers of strategic significance to the Western Australian economy may be declared a strategic project. A participation plan with additional local commitments will be required for strategic projects. An variation of the qualitative criterion weighting may be prescribed by the Minister for Jobs for strategic projects.
 

Regional procurement

A key element of the WAIPS is to ensure regional industry has increased opportunity to access State Agency contracts. Initiatives to improve regional outcomes include the introduction of Local Content Advisers (LCAs), encouraging agencies to increase delegated regional spend, and considering changes to buying rules for Common Use Agreements and the regional price preference.

 

What value thresholds will be applied for WAIPS supplies?

 Thresholds that trigger the WAIPS requirements are as follows. These value are for the total life of the contract including GST.

WAIPS%20table%20-%2014%20March.jpg

 

Are there different types of participation plans?
 

Yes, there are two types of participation plans: core participation plans and full participation plans.

 A core participation plan is a simple plan that requires a potential supplier to outline local economic benefits should a contract be awarded.A full participation plan is a more detailed plan that requires a potential supplier to identify how fulfilment of a contract will generate designated economic benefits and demonstrate the means for provision of full, fair and reasonable opportunity to local industry.

Strategic projects may require a tailored participation plan that includes additional or varied requirements. The exact participation plans requirements for strategic projects will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Minister for Jobs.

The following table demonstrates which participation plan will be applicable:

Participation%20Plan%20table_March%2014.jpg

 

Will a supplier who provides a better participation plan have more likelihood of winning a Government contract than a supplier who has a lesser participation plan?

If all other factors within a tender bid are equal, a supplier with a better participation plan will have a higher likelihood of being awarded the contract.

Other Agreements, Policies and Legislation

What is the relationship between the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017, Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy and other procurement legislation and policies?

The Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) is consistent with the existing State Supply Commission Act 1991, and the related policies. These are:

  • Value for Money
  • Probity and Accountability
  • Open and Effective Competition
  • Common Use Arrangements
  • Procurement Planning, Evaluation Reports and Contract Management

  

Will the State Government’s Buy Local & Building Local Industry Policies be retained?

The WAIPS will include a number of elements and principles of the Buy Local Policy and Building Local Industry Policy. From 1 October 2018, the Buy Local Policy and Building Local Industry Policy will become redundant and be replaced by WAIPS. Those aspects of the Building Local Industry Policy that are applicable to the private sector will, however, remain until the proposed Skilled Local Jobs Bill is considered by and passes through both Houses of State Parliament. For example, all private projects where the WA Government makes a significant contribution will be required to submit a participation plan, execute the plan and report on progress.

The Government will continue to enhance industry capability by encouraging industry to meet world’s best practice, remove or reduce impediments to competitiveness and encourage companies to seek pre-qualification with on vendor databases.

Strategic Projects

What are strategic projects?

The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) defines a strategic project as a supply which the Minister for Jobs consider to be of strategic significance to the Western Australian economy. All strategic projects are determined by the Minister for Jobs. Projects that have a contract value of $25 million of more may be deemed a strategic project. Regulations to the WA Jobs Act will provide the precise rationale for identifying strategic projects.

  

How will the WA Jobs Act apply to METRONET projects?

It is anticipated that the WA Jobs Act will be used for a range of projects under the METRONET program, as the procurement process commences. However, for some projects the procurement process will have already commenced by the time the WA Jobs Act has been enacted. These projects will proceed under current arrangements.

Participation Plans

How will participation plans be assessed and evaluated?

The assessment will focus on the likelihood of commitments being fulfilled, the application of full, fair and reasonable opportunity and willingness of the supplier to work with Government in improving supply chain performance.

Who will assess and evaluate the participation plans?

Assessment of participation plans will be undertaken by the issuing agency with assistance from the Industry Link Advisory Service and Local Content Advisers if required.

Prospective suppliers will be notified of their success or otherwise by the procuring agency. If desired, unsuccessful bidders can request to be debriefed on areas where their offer was deemed deficient or less competitive than the awarded supplier.

 

What will prospective suppliers need to outline in their participation plans?
 

For a core participation plan, prospective suppliers will need to include details on:

  • Head contractor and business contacts
  • Contract scope
  • Creation and retention of employees, apprentices and trainees
  • Other benefits to local industry
  • Commitment to working with Government.
  • Full, fair & reasonable opportunity.

 

For a full participation plan, prospective suppliers will need to include details on:

  • Head contractor and business contacts
  • Project scope & delivery
  • Creation and retention of employees, apprentices and trainees
  • Other benefits to Local and/or Regional industry.
  • Sub-Contracting and Supply arrangements.
  • Commitment to working with Government.
  •  Full, fair & reasonable opportunity.

 

Will templates be provided for each type of participation plan?

Participation plan templates will be included in the tender bid package supplied by the procuring agency.

 

Who can I call if I have trouble completing the plan template?

The Industry Link Advisory Service (ILAS) is available to assist you in completing a participation plan. Or in regional areas, you contact your nearest Local Content Adviser.  You can also access supplier guidelines on the WA Industry Link portal.

 

Implementation and Assistance

When will the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) become fully operational?

The WAIPS will become fully operational on 1 October 2018. The exact date will be publically announced closer to that time.

 

How is ‘local industry’ defined?

Under the WAIPS Strategy, the term “local industry” means suppliers of goods produced, or services provided, in Western Australia, another State, a Territory or New Zealand. This is necessary to be consistent with both section 92 of the Australian Constitution and the Australia and New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement (ANZGPA). 

 

What is the Industry Link Advisory Service?

The Industry Link Advisory Service (ILAS) has been established to provide a range of services to both head contractors, sub-contractors and government agencies. ILAS will operate from within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

 

What support will be provided to businesses to help with the implementation of the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017?

There will be a number of support services available to industry, these include:

  • The Industry Link Advisory Service (ILAS) will offer a range of assistance and advisory services to industry and business, including guidance on completing a participation plan, finding and accessing government procurement opportunities and support programs, and how to pursue import replacement potential.
     
  • Local Content Advisers will perform similar services to ILAS in the regional areas of WA. The nine advisers will be located in the various Regional Development Commissions across the State.
     
  • The WA Industry Link portal is the central source of information on the WAIPS and the WA Jobs Act. You can also find participation plan information and links to Tenders WA and other supply opportunities.
     
  • The Local Capability Fund (LCF) is available to help local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) improve their capacity, capability and competitiveness to access major domestic and international market opportunities. Funding can be used to assist SMEs to meet pre-qualification requirements, purchase and upgrade equipment, improve business or manufacturing systems and employee training and development. Funding rounds are announced periodically and widely promoted.

 

What support will be provided to State Government agencies to help with the implementation of the WAIPS?

The ILAS and the regional Local Content Advisers (LCAs) will be able to provide assistance to State Agencies. Workshops will be held during the period leading up to the WAIPS becoming fully operational to make sure agencies understand the new processes to integrate Industry Participation Plans into their procurement process and how to assess Value for Money under WAIPS.

 

Where can prospective suppliers go for advice and assistance?

The ILAS has been established to provide a range of services to assist prospective suppliers. These services include:

  • Advice on how to access opportunities to sell to government.
  • Advice on how to develop and complete participation plans more effectively.
  • Assistance to access State and Federal Government supply opportunities, industry support and financial assistance programs.
  • Information about the WAIPS.

 

Is the government going to put resources in place to monitor and measure the implementation of the WAIPS?

Yes. The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation will monitor the implementation of the WAIPS and provide progress reports to the Minister for Jobs.

Compliance and Reporting

Will the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy supply contracts have penalty clauses to impose financial or other penalties if contractor does not achieve the outcome outlined in the participation plan?

Submitting a participation plan can be enforced as a condition of the supply contract. There are already processes in place for breach of contract if they are not complied with. If a contractor does not comply with their participation plan commitments, it will be taken into account in future tender bids.

 

Will contractors need to report on progress against their participation plan commitments?

Yes, contracted suppliers will be required to report upon the implementation of their participation plan. They will also be required to use a reporting template to demonstrate how they have achieved participation outcomes at practical completion of the contract. Reporting intervals may vary with the duration of the contract.

 

What checks and balances will be introduced to ensure conformance?

An audit program will be introduced to ensure agency and supplier conformance.

Practical Questions

Does the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 require State Government agencies to preference Western Australian suppliers?

No. The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) does not require agencies to select a Western Australian supplier or a supplier which commits to using more Western Australian content. Instead, the WA Jobs Act provides for a process to require local industry participation to be taken into account in a structured and consistent way across Government when agencies evaluate offers to supply. The evaluation of participation plans will be only one component of the evaluation of an offer to supply.

 

How will regional procurement be treated under the WA Jobs Act and Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy?

The State Government's aim is to ensure regional industry has a full, fair and reasonable opportunity to access and win government contracts.  The Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) will introduce a number of initiatives to improve economic outcomes for regional industry and businesses.

These include:

  •  Local Content Advisers (LCAs) will be located in each Regional Development Commission to provide assistance to local industry and businesses.
  • Agencies will be encouraged to increase their delegated spend in regional areas.
  • Changes will be made to buying rules for Common Use Agreements and state wide contracts to provide greater opportunities for regional sourcing.  


Additionally, there will be a lower financial threshold for the participation plan requirement for regional contracts than financial thresholds for contracts in the metropolitan area.

 

How will the WA Jobs Act affect subcontractors?

The WA Jobs Act does not place any direct obligations on subcontractors. However, subcontractors may be required by the head contractor to report on participation plan commitments.

Did you find this page helpful? Yes / No
Thanks for rating this page.