Enhancements to the ethical supplier mandate and ethical supplier threshold

After significant consultation with a diverse range of stakeholders to design a robust and collaborative policy, recent enhancements to the Buy Queensland procurement approach comes into effect on 1 September 2021 through the updated Ethical Supplier Mandate 2021 (the Mandate).

The Mandate is a tool of the Buy Queensland procurement approach with a commitment to enhanced compliance, removing unethical businesses from our supply chains and supporting business with ethical Queensland suppliers.

These enhancements are effective through the following documents:

  • Ethical Supplier Mandate 2021
  • Guidelines: Ethical Supplier Mandate and
  • Guidelines: Ethical Supplier Threshold.

You can find these updated documents on the Queensland Government website along with further information. This updated approach is further supported by a comprehensive suite of guidance material to support implementation.

Key updates to the Ethical Supplier Mandate 2021 include:

  • Aggravated non-compliance – a new category of breach where 20 demerits or a sanction can be issued in severe cases of non-compliance;
  • Contractual options for contract-based measures such as liquidated damages for breaches of the Mandate or Threshold and/or publication of suppliers subject to sanction;
  • Compelling evidence of a Mandate or Threshold breach having occurred (e.g. pay slips indicating underpayment of wages or superannuation, or ATO records, bank statements) without the need for a regulator decision:
  • Procedural fairness providing further clarity around points of natural justice, including the appeals process;
  • The Tripartite Procurement Advisory Panel (the Panel) to supersede the existing Procurement Penalties and Sanctions Committee (PPSC). The Panel will be a tripartite expert body and comprise of equal representation from employers and unions and chaired by an independent government appointee.
  • Further implementation of the Mandate to be considered in 2021 for the remaining procurement categories (Statutory Bodies, Government-Owned Corporations and special purpose vehicles including water bodies) in the current categories of spend:
    • Building Construction and Maintenance (BCM); and
    • Transport Infrastructure and Services (TIS).

These enhancements aim to:

  • support increased compliance with the Buy Queensland procurement approach and further reinforce government’s commitment to only buy from ethical suppliers;
  • strengthen accountability by introducing a tripartite, expert advisory panel;
  • respond and reflect feedback and lessons from initial implementation and consultation; and
  • clarify the policy intent and implement more effectively.

We encourage you to find out more about these updates and raise awareness of these changes within your networks.

Further information is available on the Queensland Government website, or you can contact the Ethical Supply Team on 1300 105 030 (Option 3) or at ethicalsupply@epw.qld.gov.au.