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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Summary and Context

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

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]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. [/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

Western Australian Jobs Act 2017

[QUESTION]What is the purpose of the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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 procurement related 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.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What are the key aspects of the WA Jobs Act?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.
  • Obliges all agencies to assess and consider participation plans in the procurement process, and incorporate supplier commitments into supply contracts which require reports on the progress of these commitments.
  • The determination of strategic projects.
  • The Minister for Jobs reporting to Parliament on outcomes.  [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Which Government agencies will the WA Jobs Act apply to?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The WA Jobs Act and Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy will apply to "agencies", which is defined in the WA Jobs Act. Broadly the definition covers:

  • 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 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.  [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Which Government supplies will the WA Jobs Act apply to?[/QUESTION]

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

 

[QUESTION]Does the WA Jobs Act apply to supplies to Local Government?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]No. Local Governments are currently not covered by the WA Jobs Act.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Does the WA Jobs Act and WAIPS apply to supplies to universities?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]No. Universities are currently not covered by the WA Jobs Act.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are exemptions available?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Yes, the Jobs Act allows for exemptions from the requirement on Agencies to seek a participation plan when procuring a WAIPS supply. Click here for further information on how to apply and for details on obtaining an application form from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Where are approved exemptions published?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]All approved WAIPS exemptions are published on the WA Industry Link portal. Click here to review the approved exemptions.[/ANSWER]

Key Definitions

[QUESTION]Why is "local" defined as it is in the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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).[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is local content?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Local content is the portion of the contracted value of a product or service generated within a jurisdiction. Local content is generally expressed as a percentage of the total contract value.[/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]The WA Jobs Act defines a small or medium enterprise (SME) as a business or undertaking that has 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 preferences to benefit local SMEs in the context of government procurement, as is occurring in this case.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is the definition of a strategic project?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The WA Jobs Act gives the Minister for Jobs power to determine that a supply which meets the required criteria is a strategic project where the Minister for Jobs considers it to be of strategic significance to the Western Australian economy. In practice, focus will be on supplies which have the potential to generate a 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.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is the purpose of the 'strategic project' framework in the WA Jobs Act?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.

[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Will there be differentiation between existing local firms and firms locating here from overseas?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]If an overseas business comes to Australia, establishes an Australian entity and employs Australians, their business would be considered local. All businesses from Australia and New Zealand are considered to be local. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is meant by “Value for Money” and how is it calculated?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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 either 10% or 20% of the overall tender score. The plan will commit the bidder to report on a plan to maximise participation of local industry and quantify the number of jobs, apprenticeships & traineeships employed 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. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]If employment is a key measurement of the success of the WA Jobs Act 2017, how is ‘employment’ defined for reporting purposes?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Employment is defined by both the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the International Labour Organisation as a minimum of one hour’s paid work per week. Employed persons are defined as all persons aged 15 years and over, who during the reference week worked for one hour or more for pay. In the context of the WA Jobs Act 2017 and the WAIPS, measuring jobs will be achieved using the concept of the workforce directly employed (including by sub-contractors) as a result of a contract, including full-time / part-time / casual employees, apprentices, trainees and cadets. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is the difference between Goods & Services procurement and Housing & Works procurement?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Housing and Works procurement is the supply of goods or services for or in connection with a public work as defined in the Public Works Act 1902 section 2. All supplies not defined in the Public Works Act 1902 section 2 fall into the Goods and Services procurement type. View Public Works Act 1902 here. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Participation plans ask about 'workforce'. How is workforce defined?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Workforce means the total number of workers directly employed on a contract. This encompasses full-time, part-time, casual employees, apprentices and trainees, workers engaged through labour hire arrangements and other employer supported employment initiatives such as cadetships and internships.[/ANSWER]

Requirements for Businesses and State Government Agencies

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

[ANSWER]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 during the procurement process for all contracts above designated thresholds.
  • Assess and consider the participation plan when evaluating the prospective supplier's offer to supply, 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.

[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What does the WA Jobs Act require of prospective suppliers?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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 when required during the procurement process.
  • Including relevant participation plan contents within the supply contract.
  • Including a reporting clause within their supply contract.
  • Reporting on participation plan commitments.

[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How will suppliers be held accountable for the commitments they make in participation plans?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How will agencies be held to account?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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. Independent auditors will undertake random audits on agencies to ensure they are implementing WAIPS correctly.[/ANSWER]

 

Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy

[QUESTION]What is the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS)?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The WAIPS was developed as a requirement of 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, subject to specified exemptions. The WAIPS applies to departments, agencies, statutory authorities and government trading enterprises. The WAIPS does not apply to universities, local government procurement and grants. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What are the key components of the WAIPS?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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 WA Jobs Act requires agencies to ensure that prospective suppliers for a qualifying supply complete and submit a participation plan in connection with their offer to supply.  Depending on the value of the supply contract, they will 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

Qualifying supplies 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 determined by the Minister for Jobs to be a strategic project. A participation plan with additional local commitments will be required for strategic projects. For strategic projects, the approval of the Minister for Jobs must be obtained for the qualitative assessment weighting given to participation plans in evaluation of offers.

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.

[/ANSWER]

[QUESTION]What value thresholds will be applied for WAIPS supplies?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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

[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are there different types of participation plans?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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

[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]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?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

Other Agreements, Policies and Legislation

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

[ANSWER]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

[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Will the State Government’s Buy Local & Building Local Industry Policies be retained?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The WAIPS includes 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 has been replaced by WAIPS for WA State Government procurements above the specified WAIPS thresholds.

The Buy Local Policy has been retained for non-WAIPS supplies but is under review.

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 on vendor databases.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Will the Buy Local Policy continue to be applied below the WAIPS thresholds?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The Buy Local Policy has been retained for Government procurements below the WAIPS thresholds. This policy is currently under review and a new policy will follow in the near future. An Addendum to the Buy Local Policy has been published and is now available on the State Supply Commission’s website here.

Queries regarding the application of the Buy Local Policy to non-WAIPS supplies while under review should be directed to the Department of Finance. [/ANSWER] 

Strategic Projects

[QUESTION]What are strategic projects?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The WA Jobs Act gives the Minister for Jobs power to determine that a supply which meets the required criteria is a strategic project where the Minister for Jobs considers it to be of strategic significance to the Western Australian economy. Projects that have a contract value of $25 million of more may be considered as a strategic project.

In practice, focus will be on supplies which have the potential to generate a 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.[/ANSWER]

  

[QUESTION]How will the WA Jobs Act apply to METRONET projects?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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 come in to force in full. These projects will proceed under current arrangements.[/ANSWER]

Participation Plans

[QUESTION]How will participation plans be assessed and evaluated?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Who will assess and evaluate the participation plans?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]

Assessment of participation plans will be undertaken by the issuing agency. ILAS will only be involved in the evaluation of bidder Participation Plans for Strategic Projects when invited to participate by the issuing Agency. 

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. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What will prospective suppliers need to outline in their participation plans?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]To complete a participation plan, prospective suppliers will need to provide details on some or all of the following depending on the type of Plan required:

  • Supplier / Head contractor and business contact details
  • Project scope and delivery
  • The direct workforce of employees, apprentices and trainees
  • Sub-contracting and supply arrangements
  • List information on packages externally sourced 
  • Other benefits to local and/or regional industry
  • Commitment to working with Government.
  • How they plan to demonstrate full, fair & reasonable opportunity.
     

[/ANSWER]

[QUESTION]Will templates be provided for each type of participation plan?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Participation plan templates should be supplied by the procuring agency within the tender request documentation.  All templates will also be available to download from the WA Industry Link portal here.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Who can I call if I have trouble completing the plan template?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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. Advisers can assist by explaining the requirements necessary to address participation plan obligations, they cannot advise you on what to put in your plan.  You can also access supplier guidelines on “How to Complete a Participation Plan” from the WA Industry Link portal here.[/ANSWER]

 

Implementation and Assistance

[QUESTION]When will the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) become fully operational?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The WAIPS  became fully operational on 1st October 2018.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How is ‘local industry’ defined?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Under the WAIPS, 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).[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is the Industry Link Advisory Service?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]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.

[/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]The ILAS and the regional Local Content Advisers (LCAs) will be able to provide assistance to State Agencies. Training 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. 

Ongoing training and support will be provided to State Government agencies via an eLearning package available to view on the WA Industry Link portal here. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Where can prospective suppliers go for advice and assistance?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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 access State supply opportunities.
  • Advice on the requirements necessary to address participation plan obligations
  • Assistance to access State and Federal Government supply opportunities, industry support and financial assistance programs.
  • Information about the WAIPS.

[/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How will WAIPS apply to existing Common User Arrangements (CUAs) and Standing Offers (Panel Arrangements)?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]WAIPS will not retrospectively apply for CUAs or Panel contracts in effect before 1 October 2018.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a Panel arrangement or CUA has a buying rule with a threshold that requires the procurement to go to open tender (a new contract outside the panel head agreement) then WAIPS will apply to the new contract if the WAIPS threshold criteria has been met. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How will WAIPS apply to new CUAs and Standing Offers (Panel Arrangements)?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Agencies from 1 October will be required to seek an exemption for new CUAs and Standing Offers (Panel Arrangements).  This will provide an exemption from the Participation Plan requirement but reporting on the economic outcomes of the contracts will be a condition of the exemption.

Reporting will be required to be submitted within 2 months of the conclusion of a CUA or Panel Arrangement or annually and at the conclusion of the contract on contracts longer than 12 months.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a Panel arrangement or CUA has a buying rule with a threshold that requires the procurement to go to open tender (a new contract outside the panel head agreement) then WAIPS will apply to the new contract if the WAIPS threshold criteria has been met. [/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What happens to tenders already in progress on October 1?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]WAIPS requirements will not apply to tenders advertised, under evaluation or not awarded on October 1 2018.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What can agencies do if suppliers are not fulfilling their participation plan commitments?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Agencies should make suppliers aware that their business may be listed in a non-compliance register and their unfulfilled commitment will be considered in the assessment of future bids.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Is there a grace period for agencies to incorporate and implement WAIPS in their procurement processes?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]No. The transition (grace) period to full implementation started March 16 2018 and will end September 30 2018. WAIPS commenced full implementation on 1 October 2018.

All RFPs issued from 1 October that trigger the WAIPS requirements will need to include standard clauses on WAIPS requirements or have an Exemption in place.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What if a supplier is delivering services in both regional and metro areas?  Which Goods and Services threshold would apply?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The highest threshold would apply.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Will ILAS be involved in the Agency evaluation of Participation Plans during the tender phase?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]ILAS will only be involved in the evaluation of bidder Participation Plans for Strategic Projects when invited to participate by the issuing Agency.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]I work in a Government Agency and believe a new contract meets the exemption criteria. The anticipated contract value is just under the WAIPS threshold but there could be bids that exceed the WAIPS threshold. What do I do?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Contact ILAS to discuss whether or not you should submit an Exemption application.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]My agency is releasing an RFT soon and the anticipated contract value is just under the WAIPS threshold but we could receive bids that exceed the WAIPS threshold. What do I do?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]You should include the WAIPS Participation Plan requirements in your request documentation. Based on the shortlisted suppliers, it is then at the agency’s discretion on whether the Participation Plan will form part of the evaluation. If the winning bidders’ contract price is above the WAIPS thresholds then the full WAIPS requirements can be applied to the contract. Contact ILAS for guidance if required.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Where the whole works is broken up into portions that will differ in scope and may have different commencement and finish dates, does the Contractor need to provide a Participation Plan for each Separable Portion or will one Participation Plan suffice that covers the entire term of all separable portions?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]If the same contractor will be used to complete all the separable portions then a single Participation Plan will suffice with reporting at the intervals specified in the contract.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]In terms of the final Participation Plan report, completion is sometimes subject to a defects liability period – to rectify any defects before final completion is granted.  This period is typically 12 or 24 months in duration. Is the Participation Plan Report required for the period after Practical Completion?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]No, the final Participation Plan report is due within 2 months of Practical Completion[/ANSWER]

Compliance and Reporting

[QUESTION]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?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Compliance with relevant parts of a participation plan will be an obligation imposed on the supplier under the supply contract. If a contractor does not comply with their participation plan commitments, their business may be listed in a non-compliance register and their unfulfilled commitment will be considered in the assessment of future bids.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Will contractors need to report on progress against their participation plan commitments?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]When will contracted suppliers need to report on their Participation Plan commitments?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]For contracts greater than 12 months annual reporting on each anniversary of the contract award date, or at intervals otherwise agreed in the contract. A final Participation Plan report within 2 months of practical completion of the contract. If your contract is for less than 12 months, you only need to provide the procuring agency with a final Participation Plan report within 2 months of practical completion of the contract.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What checks and balances will be introduced to ensure conformance?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]An independent audit program will be introduced to ensure agency and supplier conformance.[/ANSWER]

 

Practical Questions

[QUESTION]Does the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 require State Government agencies to preference Western Australian suppliers?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

 

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

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

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.
[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How will the WA Jobs Act affect subcontractors?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]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.[/ANSWER]

Community Services Sector

[QUESTION]Are all community services procurement processes exempt from submitting a participation plan?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Only procurements that are being undertaken in accordance with the Delivering Community Services in Partnership (DCSP) Policy. These procurements are automatically exempt from the obligation to require a participation plan and agencies are not required to seek an exemption from the Minister for Jobs or his delegate, the Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]How do I know if a WAIPS supply in the community services sector is exempt from submitting a participation plan?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) has conferred the power to provide a procurement agency a standing exemption in relation to a prescribed class or circumstance of WAIPS supply in The Western Australian Jobs Regulations 2018 (WA Jobs Regulations). Regulation 5 of the WA Jobs Regulations provides that the obligation in section 12(1) of the WA Jobs Act does not apply to the procurement agency for a WAIPS supply in circumstances where: the WAIPS supply only involves the  supply of a service to which the DCSP Policy applies; and the procurement process for the WAIPS supply is conducted in accordance with the DCSP Policy.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Where can I find out more information on exemptions for the community service sector?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The document titled “Exemption for Procurement under the Delivering Community Services in Partnership (DCSP) Policy is available on the WAIPS Portal. The DCSP Policy is available at the Department of Finance website here.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are there any reporting requests on the service provider if the procurement is exempt via the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]To ensure the value of the not-for-profit sector is captured, the Minister for Jobs requests that suppliers report on workforce data realised through procurement carried out under the DCSP Policy. Under the WA Jobs Act, the Minister for Jobs is required to report annually to State Parliament on the functioning of the WAIPS. Reporting by community services suppliers as requested below will provide an opportunity for the community services sector to contribute to the content of the report, allowing the sector to highlight the important role played by it and its economic importance to the community.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What are the reporting periods for the Minister for Jobs’ report to Parliament?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The first reporting period is from 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2019. This is an atypical reporting period because it is aligned with the commencement date of the WA Jobs Act. The first report is due on 31 July 2019. The second reporting period is 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Reports should be submitted to the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation within two (2) months from the period end, due on 31 July 2020. Thereafter, reporting periods follow the financial year calendar.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]What is the reporting period for service providers?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Reporting from 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2019 is based on the workforce data applicable to new DCSP Policy service agreements. If service agreement lengths are 12 months or greater, reports should be provided annually for all service agreements formed after 1 October 2018, with a final report at the end of the contract.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Who do I submit my report to?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Service Providers will receive a reporting request email from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) in June 2019.  Suppliers are requested to submit their report direct to JTSI.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Is there a template for reporting?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]A simple report template will be provided, as below. This is the minimum information requested. Any additional information or commentary which the supplier wishes to provide is welcome.

Community%20services%20sector%20table_0.jpg

Employment: Is defined by both the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the International Labour Organisation as a minimum of one hour’s paid work per week.

Gender:   M = Male   F = Female   O = All other individuals categorized, either by themselves or by society, as neither male nor female.  All = all genders combined.

Workforce:  Means the total number of workers directly employed on a service agreement. This encompasses full-time, part-time, casual employees, apprentices and trainees, workers engaged through labour hire arrangements and other employer supported employment initiatives such as cadetships and internships

[/ANSWER]

[QUESTION]Are you seeking headcount numbers or FTE?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]For the purposes of the WA Jobs Act and WAIPS, we are using the concept of the workforce required to undertake a service agreement. The term workforce means the total number of workers directly employed as a result of a service agreement. This encompasses full-time, part-time, casual employees, apprentices and trainees, workers engaged through labour hire arrangements and other employer supported employment initiatives such as cadetships and internships.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are you seeking information only on employment resulting from WA Government service agreements, or total employment information?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Only employment information resulting from WA Government service agreements.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are you seeking employment numbers relating to federally funded contracts?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]No, we are seeking employment numbers on WA State service agreements. However, we understand that there will be service agreements where services are delivered from a mix of funding. Where there is a mix of Federal and State funding, then we would request to receive the data too.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are you seeking information on non-WA based staff employed by a WA organisation?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Yes, if it relates to the delivery of a WA State Government funded service agreement.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Are you only seeking information on paid employees? What about volunteers?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Paid employees only. You may add volunteer numbers as additional information, as long as it is clear they are separate figures. Any extra information you would like to convey outside of the basic table can be included by way of commentary in your report.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]The reporting template table does not allow for service agreements that have ceased resulting in negative employment. I would have thought this information would be vital as well?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The Government’s aim is to capture the positive relationship between service agreement award and workforce.

The template table is the minimum reporting that is required of service providers. Organisations are encouraged to supply additional information including qualitative information into the report. Therefore, you can include this information by adding an additional column. This is an opportunity for service providers to contribute to the Minister for Jobs’ annual report to Parliament, allowing the sector to highlight the important role played. The WAIPS is not static. Feedback and suggestions from suppliers and agencies will be considered.  Annual revised editions of the WAIPS will be released in the first quarter of each year.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Is reporting required for all current service agreements or just new service agreements going forward?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]The reporting is required for new service agreements that commence on or after 1 October 2018. We cannot apply the WAIPS retrospectively to existing service agreements.[/ANSWER]

 

[QUESTION]Does this capture DCSP Policy service agreements from any State Government agency – i.e. Department of Communities, Justice, Education?[/QUESTION]

[ANSWER]Yes, this captures all DCSP Policy service agreements from any Western Australian State Government agency.[/ANSWER]

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