What is Procurement?
Procurement is about more than just buying goods and services. It involves achieving best value for Council and ratepayers, as well as developing good working relationships with suppliers in a fair and transparent way. Council operates under the NSW Local Government Act 1993 and is required to follow specific rules set down by the State Government, and also has to adhere to its own Code of Conduct, Procurement policy and Tendering policy.
The Local Government Act
All Councils in NSW are subject to the Local Government Act 1993 (The Act) and section 55 of The Act states that purchases of goods and services above $150,000 inclusive of GST must go to public tender. This can be quite a lengthy and involved process. There are certain conditions however which may exempt councils from the requirement for tender under the procurement provisions of The Act, including emergency situations (e.g. bushfires) or, a council may purchase from State and/or Local Government contracts that have been tendered by prescribed bodies. Georges River Council also supports the SSROC (Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils) in all of their collaborative projects where Council can determine the benefits to Georges River Council.
As part of the requirements of The Act, each council is required to develop its own set of rules for buying goods and services, called a Procurement Policy. The purpose of the Procurement Policy is to ensure a standard process is followed across the council. It ensures that probity, transparency and ethical behaviour is demonstrated at all times. Georges River Council aims to achieve best value in the interests of rate payers and has set benchmarks that require three separate quotes be obtained for purchases between $5,000 and $150,000.
Our community rightly expects a high standard of governance and ethical behaviour from all levels of government. Council takes any suggestion of anti-competitive, collusive, dishonest or corrupt behaviour very seriously and all our suppliers are expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and behaviour. Georges River Council has a Code of Conduct which outlines the conduct expected to be shown by its staff, including rules around receiving gifts and/or other benefits.