What is 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.
As such, the WA Jobs Act puts greater responsibility on State agencies to provide local industry with full, fair and reasonable opportunity to access and win State Government supply contracts. It also puts a focus on the reporting of economic outcomes of local industry participation.
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 is the responsibility of the Minister for Jobs and will be implemented by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation. Implementation will commence on 1 October 2018.
Key principles of the WA Jobs Act
There a five key principles within the WA Jobs Act, these include:
The Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy
The WA Jobs Act requires the Minister for Jobs to develop and implement a Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) that is consistent with existing State Government and State Supply Commission procurement principles and policies, Section 92 of the Australian Constitution and the principles of accountability and probity, open and effective competition, transparency in decision making and value for money. The objectives of WAIPS are:
• Promoting the diversification and growth of the Western Australian economy by targeting supply opportunities for local industry.
• Providing suppliers of goods or services with increased access to, and raised awareness of, local industry capability.
• Encouraging local industry to adopt, where appropriate, world’s best practice in workplace innovation and the use of new technologies and materials.
• Promoting increased apprenticeship, training and job opportunities in Western Australia.
• Promoting increased opportunities for local industry to develop import replacement capacity by giving local industry, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, a full, fair and reasonable opportunity to compete against foreign suppliers of goods or services.
The Minister may, from time to time, revise the WAIPS or offer exemptions to agencies.
A participation plan is a document that outlines the commitments of a prospective supplier in relation to the participation by local industry, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, in activities for or in connection with supply.
Unless exempted, all State agencies will require prospective suppliers to submit a participation plan as part of their bid for government supply contracts that are above designated threshold values. Agencies are required to assess and consider participation plans in the procurement process, and incorporate supplier commitments into their supply contracts.
A strategic project is a supply opportunity that the Minister for Jobs considers to be of strategic importance to the Western Australian economy with potential to generate additional significant economic activity and local jobs. Strategic projects are determined by the Minister and may require participation plans that address specific local participation commitments.
The Minister for Jobs must provide State Parliament with a report at the end of the financial year on the implementation of the WA Jobs Act and the WAIPS. Before five years has passed, the Minister must also review and report to Parliament upon the operation and effectiveness of the WA Jobs Act.
The WA Jobs Act is underpinned by a set of regulations, which cover WAIPS supply thresholds, exemptions from the requirement from participation plans, and strategic projects. These regulations are currently in the drafting process.
Who does the WA Jobs Act apply to?
The WA Jobs Act applies to all State Departments, Agencies, Statutory Authorities and Government Trading Entities. The Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy does not apply to universities, Local Government procurement or grants.
Which forms of procurement does the WA Jobs Act apply to?
The local industry participation requirements will apply to a range of procurements, including goods, services, housing, works and community services. The annual government spend on these items is estimated at $27 billion.
View the WA Jobs Act.