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Purchasing Procedures

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Section 1 - Section 1 -Purpose and Context

(1) The overall objective of this policy is to ensure that the University obtains goods and services expeditiously and economically within the parameters of obtaining value for money, exercising fair-trading principles, demonstrating probity and transparency and maintaining accountability. The policy is intended to be a complement to the UWS Procurement Procedures and Tender Board Policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) 'Value for money' purchases are those that have the best mix of the following attributes:

  1. fair market price
  2. fitness for purpose
  3. whole of life costs
  4. timely delivery
  5. post delivery support
  6. effective warranty
  7. conformity to law

(3) Value for Money does not automatically mean the 'lowest price'.

(4) 'Fair Trading' means that equality of opportunity is afforded to all suppliers.

(5) 'Probity' means integrity; honesty; uprightness.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Purchase and Payment Methods

Purchase/Payment Method Intended for Purchase of
Petty Cash Minor items under $100 in value
Credit Cards Consumable items normally under $1,000Travel and Accommodation charges
Fuel Cards Purchase of fuel for University vehicles.
Purchase Orders Expensive consumables
Contracts Agreements for construction of assets eg. buildings
Maintenance Agreements
Service Agreements
Significant Consulting Agreements

(6) The method chosen should be appropriate to the nature and value of the goods and services required.

Part B - Authority to Purchase

(7) The Authority to Purchase is vested in nominated positions as outlined in the UWS Delegations (Administrative) Policy Section 2 "Who holds Delegations" and is subject to the conditions attached as outlined in Section 4 of that document.

(8) The UWS Procurement Procedures and Tender Board Policy outlines the procurement action that must be followed depending on the level of expenditure involved.

Cost Action Required
Less than $1,000 No quotations required
$1,000 less than $10,000 As a minimum obtain three (3) quotations. (Verbal quotations are acceptable provided full details of date, company, contact person, and price is recorded and staff obtaining signs record)
$10,000 less than $20,000 Three (3) written quotations
$20,000 less than $100,000 Three (3) written quotations with recommendation submitted to Purchase and Tender Board.
Over $100,000 Call formal tenders.

(9) All costs are inclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Special Conditions

  1. All motor vehicle purchases must be co-coordinated through the UWS Purchasing and Assets Unit in the Finance Office. Only the Purchasing and Assets Unit is authorized to arrange for purchase quotes on vehicles.
  2. Where a Government Contract is in existence covering goods and services, UWS Centres may purchase under Government Contract without seeking quotes. Procurements under Government Purchase Contracts with a value in excess of $20,000 must still be referred to the Purchase and Tender Board for approval.
  3. Where it is necessary under special circumstances to purchase goods, services, concessions and/or works with a value in excess of $20,000 without calling or invitation of quotations or tenders, such action can only be authorized by the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Strategy and Services or the Director Finance and for goods and services to the limit of their approved Delegations. All such action must be reported to the next meeting of the Purchase and Tender Board and to the Vice-Chancellor.

Part C - Purchase and Tender Board

(10) The UWS Purchase and Tender Board (PT Board) shall:

  1. call and invite formal tenders for supply of goods or services where the value of the contract is likely to exceed $100,000;
  2. consider quotations for purchases or contracts with a value in excess of $20,000;
  3. approve the letting of contracts and tenders subject to University accounting procedures and application of expenditure delegations;
  4. recommend variations to procedures and conditions to be followed by the University for purchase of goods, services, equipment, motor vehicles, minor works, maintenance contracts and capital works.

(11) The Purchase and Tender Board shall consist of:

  1. the Director Finance (or in his absence, the Manager Financial Operations ) as Chair;
  2. the Manager Financial Operations;
  3. one (1) nominee from each of the following University Centres:
    1. Each Academic College (4)
    2. Office of Research Services
    3. Library
    4. Information Technology Services
    5. Office of Capital Works and Facilities
    6. Registrar's Office
    7. Division of International and Development
    8. Communication and Marketing

(12) The Supervisor Purchasing and Assets will function as Secretary to the PT Board.

Part D - Petty Cash

(13) Cash reimbursements may be made to employees for small and urgent expenditures made by them on behalf of the University. Such expenditure must be made for the legitimate purpose of the University and be of direct benefit to the institution. Claims that are deemed to be for other than University purposes will not be reimbursed.

(14) Petty Cash floats are held centrally by the Cashiers at each campus.

(15) Individual payments from petty cash are confined to small claims other than wages not exceeding $100.00.

(16) Petty cash reimbursements may be used for:

  1. tolls and parking expenses.
  2. rail and taxi fares.
  3. minor consumable items related to University purposes.

(17) Petty Cash may not be used for:

  1. the payment of mileage or travel allowances.
  2. the cashing of cheques.
  3. payment of salaries and wages.
  4. expenses of a private nature.
  5. Fuel (except where authorised fuel cards are not yet available).
  6. O.U's.

(18) Prior to making a purchase, approval from an officer with delegated authority must be received.

(19) All claims for reimbursement are to be submitted on petty cash vouchers approved by an officer holding appropriate delegated authority. Claims must be supported by original receipts.

Cash Advances

(20) Where prior approval has been given by an officer with delegated authority an advance of petty cash may be made for small purchases up to $500.

(21) All petty cash advances must be sought by the submission of an approved voucher indicating the nature of the intended purchase/s.

(22) Delegated Authority to approve temporary petty cash advances for small purchases up to $500 is vested to the Financial Accountant and the Accounts Payable Supervisor.

(23) Advances must be acquitted within 48 hours by the presentation of an approved petty cash voucher accompanied by original receipts. Expenditure must be for the approved purpose written on the petty cash voucher. A claimant must return the funds and seek separate approval on a new petty cash voucher from an officer with appropriate authority should the claimant wish to change the purpose of the advance.

(24) Additional advances will not be made to individuals or departments with outstanding advances.

Part E - University Corporate Credit Cards

(25) The UWS Corporate Credit Card was introduced in 1998 as an alternative purchasing and payment mechanism to improve payment performance, simplify clerical processes, provide more effective cash management and in many cases better service delivery. The card system is specifically designed for, but not restricted to, high volume but low value (less than $1,000) transactions.

(26) Corporate Credit Cards are for official business purposes only. Misuse of cards will result in revocation and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the University.

(27) Staff at any level who have responsibility for purchasing goods or services may be issued with a Corporate Credit Card on approval by the Director Finance and providing they complete a form acknowledging acceptance of conditions of use. Centre Managers are responsible for nominating to the Director, Finance the officers in their Centre who should be issued with Corporate Credit Cards.

(28) The issue of a Corporate Credit Card carries with it the Delegated Authority of Administrative Officer (expenditure up to $5,000 per transaction) for use of credit card purchasing only, if the cardholder does not otherwise hold financial delegation. Cardholders may purchase goods and services within purchasing policy, financial delegation and card limits. Naturally, budget funds must be available. Cardholders may place an order with a supplier:

  1. In Person
  2. By phone or fax
  3. By mail

(29) The cardholder may not place an order with a supplier:

  1. Via the Internet

(30) Full details of the University's Corporate Credit Card Policy is available on the UWS Policy DDS.

Part F - Fuel Cards

(31) The University will arrange to issue two (2) fuel cards with all University-owned vehicles. These are:

  1. Shell Card
  2. Caltex/Ampol Card

(32) All petrol purchases shall be obtained via the fuel cards. UWS Corporate Credit Cards should not be used for petrol purchases except during any change-over of a vehicle where petrol cards are not yet available.

(33) The only costs that can be charged to petrol cards are:

  1. Fuel
  2. Oil

(34) Under no circumstances should petrol cards be used for expenditure of a personal nature.

(35) Cardholders are required to quote and have recorded vehicle kilometre reading at time of all fuel purchases. The university has instituted a system of vehicle fuel consumption monitoring and it is a requirement of vehicle access that staff record kilometre details at time of fuel purchase. UWS petrol cards should not under any circumstance be used for purchase of fuel for other than the UWS vehicle recorded on the card.

(36) Loss of petrol cards must immediately be notified to the Purchasing and Assets Unit who will arrange for cancellation and re-issue of replacement card.

Part G - Purchase Requisitions and Orders

(37) Purchase Requisitions - Goods and services to be obtained from external suppliers/contractors require the completion of an appropriately approved Purchase Requisition. They are the means by which Colleges and Divisions request the Finance Officer - Purchasing to raise a purchase order on behalf of UWS.

(38) Purchase Requisitions are not contractual forms and their reference numbers are not to be used in an attempt to obtain goods and services from suppliers.

(39) Purchase Order - A Purchase Order is the University's official contractual form issued by the Finance Officer - Purchasing to procure goods and services on behalf of the University. Purchase Orders are raised only for items to be used by the University and cannot under any circumstances be used for staff or student personal requirements.

(40) A Purchase Order is required for all asset purchases and for goods and services over $5,000 in value and for smaller value orders when other means are not appropriate.

(41) Telephoned Orders - the issue of Purchase Order Nos. for the purpose of telephoning through to suppliers will only be made in cases of emergency such as equipment breakdown and storm damage repairs. Such circumstances still require the lodgement of an appropriately approved Purchase Requisition with the Finance Officer - Purchasing before an Order No. is allocated. Such orders will be endorsed as 'Confirmation Orders'.

(42) Order Cancellation - The cancellation of a previously placed Purchase Orders can only be actioned by the Purchasing and Fixed Assets section within the Finance Office. Requests for cancellation should be made in writing and authorised by the original approving officer. The Finance Officer - Purchasing will confirm cancellation in writing with the supplier.

(43) Variations to Orders - Variations to a previously placed Purchase Order can only be actioned by the Purchasing and Fixed Assets section within the Finance Office. Requests for variation should be made by way of the submission of a second Purchase Requisition clearly indicating that it represents a variation. A' revised' Purchase Order will be created by the Finance Officer - Purchasing

(44) Order Splitting - Requisitions for required goods and services must not be split into components or a succession of orders for the purpose avoiding the requirement to call for quotations or tenders.

Part H - Purchases Below $1,000

(45) For procurements below $1,000 quotes are not required providing:

  1. that the rates are reasonable and consistent with market rates for items of a similar nature
  2. regular reviews are undertaken to ensure the reasonableness of prices
  3. required goods and services are not split into components or a succession of orders for the purpose avoiding the requirement to call for quotations
  4. fairness, equity and ethical dealing are assured.

Part I - Quotations (Quotes)

(46) Quotations are statements of the current market price of goods and services offered by interested parties and are usually valid for a specified period.

Requesting Quotations

(47) When requesting quotations those invited to quote should:

  1. all receive the request at or about the same time
  2. all receive the same information
  3. represent a fair selection of available providers

(48) Procurements where the value exceeds $1,000 but is less than $10,000 - Centre Managers must ensure that as a minimum, three (3) quotations are obtained (and recorded). These quotes may be verbal and need not be referred to the Purchase and Tender Board. They shall however, be recorded and included in the documentation submitted to the approving officer with Delegation to approve the procurement. This will facilitate comparison and approval as well as meeting probity and audit requirements.

(49) Procurement or agreement where the value exceeds $10,000 but is less than $100,000 - Centres may either request the Supervisor Purchasing and Assets to obtain quotes, or may directly obtain, three (3) written quotations from reputable suppliers for the procurement. Quotes should be in writing and may be received in person, by facsimile or mail.

(50) For procurements exceeding $10,000 but less than $20,000 - written quotations need not be referred to the Purchase and Tender Board. They shall however, be recorded and included in the documentation submitted to the approving officer with Delegation to approve the procurement. This will facilitate comparison and approval as well as meeting probity and audit requirements.

(51) For procurements exceeding $20,000 but less than $100,000 - Centres should assess written quotations and make written recommendations to the Purchase and Tender Board concerning the preferred supplier.

(52) In normal circumstances Centres will be expected to accept the lowest written quote unless it does not meet the standards specified in the call for quotations.

(53) If less than the required number of quotes is received, the reasons for not inviting more quotations should be documented e.g. critical time restraints.

(54) All motor vehicle purchases (or trade-ins of vehicles) must be co-ordinated through the UWS Purchasing and Assets Unit in the Finance Office. Only the Purchasing and Assets Unit is authorised to arrange for purchase quotes on vehicles.

Selection of Firms

(55) In order to ensure that opportunities are created to obtain value for money, staff responsible for purchasing should increase supplier competitiveness by encouraging new potential suppliers to enter the field. As effective purchasing requires a sound knowledge of the market, buyers need to seek out information about potential suppliers from all available sources, including personal contacts, internal records, published sources and industry development agencies.

(56) Centre Managers are responsible for ensuring that new suppliers are encouraged to make bids, supplier lists are updated and invitations to them are extended when quotations are sought.

(57) Whilst interest on new suppliers and contractors is to be encouraged it should occur at a controlled rate so that existing suppliers already performing/providing at a significant level and economic price are not disadvantaged and so that the internal evaluation process does not become too onerous.

(58) Bid Shopping - staff must not enter into any process of unfairly trading off different quotations in an attempt to seek lower prices.

Part J - Expressions of Interest

(59) The calling for expressions of interest is an invitation to interested parties to indicate their capability to supply goods or services required by the University. The process is intended to assess the capabilities of the parties responding before proceeding to seek detailed bids through the submission of tenders.

Expression of Interest Document Preparation

(60) Expression of Interest Documents must be clear and specific and must be prepared by those having the necessary expertise, particularly where technological issues are involved. They should be written in a manner that reflects the precise requirements of the buyer and should not be restricted to a particular brand or supplier.

Content of the Invitation to Express an Interest

(61) Invitations to Express an Interest must include the following ;

  1. an unambiguous statement of the purpose of the activity for which tenders may be sought.
  2. a clear definition of the principal selection and performance criteria
  3. a clear statement on the structure of responses (which will assist the evaluation process).

Expression of Interest Evaluation

(62) The evaluation must be undertaken by a team of at least three people, two from within the College /Division involved plus someone from outside the area who has expertise in a field related to the relevant expression of interest. Each member of the team must sign the evaluation document to confirm their concurrence to the outcome.

Part K - Tenders

(63) Tenders are formal offers, detailed in writing and meeting predetermined criteria, to perform certain work or supply certain goods at a given cost. For procurement of goods and services with a value in excess of $100,000 per item or contract, formal tenders must be called.

(64) Tenders for service contracts shall not normally be invited to cover a period in excess of 3 years. The Purchase and Tender Board has the power in special circumstances to extend any current service contract for a maximum period of 24 months in circumstances where this is seen to be in the best interests of the University. All such decisions and reasons therefore shall be recorded by the Purchase and Tender Board.

Selective Tenders

(65) Selective tendering will generally be used in conjunction with registers of contractors and suppliers that have an established track record with the University and have been screened by appropriate selection criteria.

(66) The Office of Capital Works and Facilities will construct and maintain a register of contractors satisfying University requirements as to financial and managerial capabilities, technical skills and resources in relation to capital works and services. This register is to be reviewed at least bi-annually and is subject to approval by the Purchase and Tender Board.

Open (Public) Tenders

(67) Where a fully open tendering process is used, contributors are invited to tender whether or not they have previously worked for the University and no restrictions are placed on the number of tenderers allowed to bid.

(68) As an alternative, Expressions of Interest may be called resulting in an assessed list of suitable tenderers. Contractors will be invited to make an initial submission in response to a range of assessment criteria for the work involved. Expressions of Interest will be evaluated as previously described in the section 'Expression of Interest Evaluation'. The approval of the Purchase and Tender Board must be sought for those contractors listed through the evaluation process before they can be invited to tender.

Open vs. Selective Tendering

(69) The Purchase and Tender Board may determine whether a tender shall be called by selected or public tender, and in the case of the latter, prescribe the manner in which it shall be notified.

Preparation of Tender Specifications

(70) Tender specifications must :

  1. be clear, specific, and in place before tenders are invited. It is essential that specifications are prepared by those who have the requisite knowledge to do so, especially where technological issues are involved.
  2. be written in such a manner that, normally, they are not restricted to a particular brand or supplier. Reference to equipment supplied exclusively by particular tendering companies is to be avoided except where circumstances clearly dictate that it may occur. If it is necessary to nominate particular brand names, this should be done so as not to exclude items of similar function or quality. This can be achieved by the use of clauses such as "Widget model AUS615 or equivalent". Where the University determines that it wishes to use a preferred product, provided that the product in question has been selected in an open and fair process, it is entitled to do so. In all such cases, the tender documents must indicate that the specified product was selected in an open and fair manner. In this way "preferred product" status will not be achieved by default.
  3. reflect the precise requirements of the user and it should not be left to a supplier to make an assessment of the user's needs.
  4. be in writing and must be retained as accountable documents for a period no less than 7 years.

Inviting Tenders

(71) Apart from the tender specifications, the "Invitation to Tender" must specify the "general conditions for tendering" including:

  1. an unambiguous statement of the purpose of the activity for which tenders are being sought, so as to ensure a clear understanding by prospective tenderers.
  2. a description of the context within which the request is made will facilitate a broad understanding and alert prospective tenderers to some of the subtleties facing the service provider. Items to be included may relate to the nature of the business functions undertaken, geographical location and the availability on request of relevant internal or public reports and plans.
  3. the principal selection criteria. These are distinct from but relevant to the performance criteria set out in the specification. These will include:
    1. quality of service design proposed by the tenderer
    2. quality control considerations for manufactured goods
    3. demonstrated track record in the service or related area
    4. financial stability of the firm and/or the principals
    5. calibre of the key people proposed to be involved
  4. a clear statement on the structure of responses will assist (and can be essential) in directly comparing tenders during the evaluation process.
  5. all factors that will impact on pricing must be specified.
  6. where capital works and services are involved, an early decision will need to be made on whether the project is to be "lump sum" or "schedule of rates" or "lump sum with some provisional sums or quantities". Use of provisional sums must be minimised as these are often an excuse for inadequate documentation and design. Generally, a request for "rates only" should be avoided unless a provisional quantity or an indicated quantity is used for tender comparisons. To do otherwise may invite submitted rates that are not reasonable.
  7. the documents will include or refer to conditions and other key considerations. Advice from appropriate sources will often be essential to ensure that all key considerations are covered and that conditions are not excessive.
  8. there must be a date set for advertising and a specified date, time and place for the closing and lodgement of tenders. The time given between the advertisement and the closing date must be sufficient to allow a tenderer to study the tender specification and prepare a bid. If, in particular circumstances, it is necessary to extend the closing date, all prospective tenderers who have been issued with tender documents must be notified in an appropriate and timely manner, and evidence of this advising must be recorded on the appropriate file.
  9. Public advertisements must:
    1. provide an adequate description of the work so as to allow prospective tenderers to decide whether they wish to prepare a submission;
    2. state where tender documents may be obtained and specify the name(s) and telephone number(s) of contact officer(s);
    3. include a tendering reference number;
    4. indicate whether the successful tenderer will be required to enter into a contract as a condition of acceptance of a tender and the form that such contract will take;
    5. indicate that tenders must be lodged in the UWS tender box; and
    6. identify the place of lodgement as Building M16, Hawkesbury Campus, Richmond, and the closing date and time.
  10. Advertisements are to be inserted in the most appropriate newspapers, whether metropolitan or local press or trade magazines etc. Contact officers should ensure that they are readily accessible to prospective tenderers.
  11. Details of phone enquiries about tenders must be documented showing the name of the caller, the name of the staff member taking the call and the nature of the inquiry. Any background literature that is given to one potential tenderer must be supplied to all potential tenderers. A record must be maintained to show the distribution of the background material forwarded.
  12. Where open tendering is used and the tendering documents are extensive and detailed, there may be a need to charge a deposit for these which will be refunded once the tender is lodged. This will ensure that only those firms that are genuinely interested in the project seek documentation. An alternative is to charge the tenderers a non-refundable fee for the documents supplied. A decision in this matter will be made by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Campus Development) on the recommendation of the Director Finance or the Director Capital Works and Facilities as appropriate.
  13. Tenderers may be encouraged to offer alternative better value for money proposals. The conditions under which alternative proposals are to be submitted must be specified.

Assessing Tenders

(72) Objective and detailed written criteria, reflecting the requirements of the user, must be established as the basis for the assessment of bids. Staff members responsible for the assessment must also be involved in the selection process for the most suitable tender.

(73) The assessment must be undertaken by a team of at least three people, two from within the College/Division involved plus someone from outside the area who has expertise in a field related to the relevant expression of interest. Each member of the team must sign the assessment document to confirm their concurrence to the outcome.

(74) Assessments must be undertaken in a timely manner, as circumstances may change with time both from the viewpoint of those submitting tenders and the department receiving them. Reasons must be given for preferring one tender over the others and should relate to the assessment criteria. The decisions arrived at in making the assessment must be supported by relevant and comprehensive documentation.

(75) The reason(s) for the acceptance of such tender must be fully documented especially where the lowest tender is not accepted.

(76) Generally, there are five key assessment areas.

(77) Capability Assessment - addresses the experience of the firm and the capability and qualifications of the key personnel who will be operating under the contract, including the management and supervisory back-up, and the capability of the contractor to work within various policy frameworks of the University. Reference checks are essential and must cover aspects such as:

  1. the contractor's track record
  2. the availability of trade references (A list of suitable referees is to be developed to support this process)
  3. the contractor's financial and managerial capacity to deliver the goods and services
  4. the availability of a bank reference

(78) For capital projects, prior to any engagement of a principal contractor and/or consultant, including an architect, a full and thorough investigation of the tenderer must be undertaken by a credit reference agency.

(79) Technical Assessment - establishes whether the tender meets the requirements set out in the specification and, if not, the significance of any variation from that specification. Any modifications proposed in the bid are to be checked for acceptability. Where the contractor's own plant, equipment and/or site are proposed to be used, the capacity to meet the workload should be verified.

(80) The Contractual Assessment - appraises the acceptability of any contractual qualifications or variations stated in the bid, particularly where these propose variations to schedules of delivery or quality. The cost and other effects of any acceptable qualifications will need to be taken into account. Legal advice may need to be sought and this must be documented and retained on the appropriate file.

(81) The Financial Assessment - includes identification of all relevant costs and the calculation of annual costs and/or net present values of the competing bids. The initial (once only) costs, the ongoing costs associated with maintaining the service and the costs of handing the service over at the expiry of the contract, including any penalties and/or discounts, should be identified and calculated. In regard to any overseas tenders, consideration also needs to be given to exchange rates, payment terms, communication, transportation and insurance costs.

(82) The Long-Term Assessment - Various assumptions will need to be made about future costs and workload. An analysis must be undertaken which varies the main assumptions made to assess whether the apparently advantageous bid remains the correct choice under plausible alternative conditions. The implications of contract failure and the risk of being locked into one provider must be considered. Where plant and equipment are involved, the likely state of such plant and equipment at the time of renewal and the need to plan ahead for capital replacement may require consideration.

Modifications and Re-Tendering

(83) Where amendments or clarifications to tender documents are required, a numbered and dated addendum will be issued to all identified tenderers in sufficient time to allow for its consideration before the closing date for submission of tenders. An addendum should not be issued less than five working days prior to the closing date. Where this is not possible, an extension of the closing date must be made. Every addendum will contain an express statement that it forms an integral part of the tender documents and that written acknowledgment of its receipt must be included in the tender submitted.

(84) If during the tender assessment process, the situation arises that a decision is made to make substantial changes to the original tender, then it will be necessary to recommence the tendering process. In this instance, an opportunity must be given to each original tenderer to submit a fresh tender. As with all the tendering processes, it also will be necessary to provide comprehensive documentation that:

  1. shows the reason why substantial modifications to the original tender specifications are necessary;
  2. demonstrates that the modifications are still consistent with the original requirements of the user;
  3. the tender is still viable when the revised estimate is in excess of 20% of the original estimated cost; and
  4. the Purchase and Tender Board has authorised the re-tendering.

(85) Where tenderers offer unsolicited alternative proposals they should only be considered when submitted with a conforming tender. Where a tenderer offers an alternative, a comparable price for the alternative should not be obtained from other tenderers. Specifications and details contained in the alternative offers should not be used as the basis for the calling of new tenders.

Acceptance of Tenders

(86) Following the review of tenders and acceptance of a tender by the Purchase and Tender Board, a "letter of acceptance" will be issued to the successful tenderer. Where the tender specifies that acceptance of a tender is conditional upon execution of a contract satisfactory to the University, then the letter of acceptance should also specify this. The letter of acceptance will be released over the signature of the Director Finance, or in the case of capital works projects, the Director Capital Works and Facilities.

(87) Where applicable, the letter of acceptance of the tender will include a clause to the effect that a representative of the University may examine any equipment or other items before they are delivered to and accepted by the University. This will allow the user department to ensure that the item meets the specifications of the contract.

Unsuccessful Tenders

(88) Unsuccessful tenderers must be promptly notified, in writing, that they were not successful. They may be informed of the name of the successful tenderer and price but not the detail of the successful tender. They may be informed as to the weaknesses in their own bid with any comparisons made being against the tender selection criteria and not the successful tender.

Part L - Contracts

(89) Irrespective of the form of tendering used, where the University will require the successful tenderer to enter into a contract as a condition of acceptance of the tender, the Purchase and Tender Board is to be advised of this fact and be assured that such a contract, if not in a standard approved format, was prepared prior to the call for tenders and has either been prepared by the University Legal Counsel or, if prepared by an external lawyer, reviewed by the University Legal Counsel.

(90) The time taken to prepare a contract should be factored into the total time that it takes to prepare a transaction for tender. Contract terms are not to be negotiated after a tender has been accepted as this compromises the University's ability to negotiate terms satisfactory to its needs.

Contract Contents

(91) All contracts will include the following details:

  1. when the contract begins and ends (including any deadlines for completion of milestones)
  2. what goods or services are to be supplied and when
  3. any specification about the nature or quality of the goods or services to be supplied
  4. whether the goods or services can be varied and if so how, when, and by whom
  5. if the goods or services are subject to copyright or other form of intellectual property, how those rights will be dealt with under the contract
  6. details of any insurance obligations
  7. whether there is any obligation for confidentiality and, if so, how this will be addressed
  8. whether any security deposit or bond is payable by the contractor and, if so, details of the University's right of set-off
  9. in cases where the contractor is a company, whether any personal guarantees are required
  10. the total amount of the contract fee and how and when it is to be paid
  11. whether the contract fee can be varied and, if so, in what circumstances, and how
  12. whether any expenses of the contractor are payable and, if so, how and when and on what conditions
  13. provisions for default and termination in the event of default
  14. any applicable "winding down" obligations of the parties at the end of the contract
  15. how any disputes arising under the contract will be addressed
  16. whether a party may assign or sub-contract any of its obligations
  17. how when and by whom any notices under the contract should be given
  18. the governing law applicable to the contract (NB: in most cases this will be NSW or another state in Australia which is generally acceptable. However, if the contractor wishes the governing law to be a jurisdiction outside Australia, then advice should be sought from the University Solicitor).

(92) Preferably, the University should utilise existing, standard contract conditions for capital works and services that can be adapted to particular needs, e.g. Australian Standard AS 4122 -2000 "General Conditions for Engagement of Consultants ". Other forms of contract may be appropriate if the character or circumstances of the project are unusual.

(93) Whatever the form of contract used, provisions on the following need to be carefully included within the conditions:

  1. insurance
  2. dispute resolution
  3. proof of payment of contractors
  4. security.

Contracts for Consultants

(94) For the purpose of this policy a consultant is defined as a person or organization under contract on a temporary basis to provide recommendations or high level specialist or professional advice to assist in decision-making by management. Generally, it is the advisory nature of the work that differentiates a consultant from other contractors. The definition does not apply to casual or temporary staff employed or engaged by the University.

(95) Consultants should only be engaged when the required professional expertise is not available within the University or cannot be provided in a more cost effective manner than can be obtained by engaging a consultant.

(96) When engaging consultants it is necessary to:

  1. critically assess the need to engage consultants
  2. ensure the terms of reference for the consultant are well defined
  3. ensure that fees are competitive and consistent with the quality required
  4. check that the quality required is being delivered, the timetable being adhered to and that the costs are within the agreed budget

(97) The engagement of consultants is subject to all other provisions of this policy.

Contract Approvals

(98) The Delegated Authority to accept tenders and quotes and authorise contracts or orders in respect of any capital works within an approved project budget is vested in:

Vice-Chancellor Unlimited
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Campus Development) $1M
Director Capital Works and Facilities $500K
Manager Infrastructure - CWF $250K

(99) Failure to secure a contract prior to services being rendered may expose the University to financial loss or litigation. Lead time sufficient to enable contracts to be reviewed by the University Legal Counsel and subsequently approved by the appropriately delegated officer must be allowed before notification is given to contractors to commence work.

Contract Performance

(100) Regular reviews of the contractor's performance must be undertaken to ensure that that the risk associated with poor-performing contractors are minimised. Such reviews will help the University and the contractor to reach a common understanding of the expectations of both parties, identify superior performance and any areas that need improvement. Reviews will also assist in the assessment of contractors for selective tender lists, tender response evaluation and in the event of termination for unsatisfactory performance under a contract.

(101) The frequency of the reviews will be dependent on the type of contract established. As a minimum, reviews must be undertaken at the following times;

  1. if a complaint has been lodged
  2. midway through a contract
  3. at the end of a contract

(102) When invoices are received for goods and services received in accordance with a negotiated contract, procedures should be in place which provide assurance that the invoice complies with the billing terms of the contract. This would include checking to verify that the proper rate has been charged and that unauthorized additional charges have not been included.

(103) Regular reviews of the University's conformance to the contract should also be undertaken with a view to protecting it from financial loss and litigation.

Part M - Conflict of Interest and Ethical Behaviour

(104) The Code of Conduct establishes standards of behaviour expected of UWS staff members and provides a guide to resolving ethical issues for those who work in the University.

(105) Those guidelines particularly pertinent to staff involved in procuring goods and services on behalf of the University are set out below:

  1. Staff members should avoid any financial or other interest or undertaking that could directly or indirectly compromise the performance of their duties. They should assess potential conflicts of interest in terms of the likelihood of their being influenced or appearing to be influenced in the performance of their duties in a particular matter.

    When staff members become aware of such a situation, they should take appropriate steps to disclose the conflict and may discuss it with senior staff who may offer advice.
  2. No staff member should accept a gift or benefit if it could be considered by the public, knowing the full facts, as intended or likely to cause the staff member to do his or her job in a particular way, or to deviate from a proper course of duty.

    It is expected, however, that token gifts or benefits may be accepted in circumstances approved by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor provided there is no possibility that the recipient might be, or might appear to be, compromised in the process or where the gift could be seen by others as either an inducement or reward which might place a staff member under an obligation.
  3. Where staff members have access to official University documents and information in the course of their employment, they need to maintain confidentiality and privacy of that information in order to protect individuals concerned and to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of the University. In general, staff members should only disclose official information when required to do so by law, when the need arises as part of their normal duties, when they are called upon to give evidence in court, or where the information has been officially approved for release.

Part N - Leasing vs. Buying

(106) Any decision to acquire assets via rental or lease requires a full cost benefit analysis.

(107) Whilst there are tangible benefits from leasing in relation to avoiding the risk of obsolescence and resultant poor resale value for items purchased outright (particularly in relation to IT equipment), due consideration should also be given to the 'hidden' costs of leasing. These hidden costs can include;

  1. penalties for early termination of lease
  2. administrative costs of periodic lease payments
  3. costs associated with negotiating and executing lease agreements

Authority to enter into Lease Agreements

(108) The delegated authority to approve agreements between UWS and an external party involving any borrowing, debt financing, hedging, sale and lease back, or similar financing arrangement is vested in the Vice-Chancellor.

Part O - UWS Wide Contracts

(109) UWS wide procurement contracts be formally negotiated and put in place for the procurement of a class or type of item. UWS wide contracts will be approved via the UWS Purchase and Tender Board.

(110) Currently UWS wide contracts exist for:

  1. procurement of IT Equipment (refer UWS Information Technology Procurement Unit );
  2. procurement of Mobile Phones (refer UWS Team Leader Telecommunications in Information Technology Services );
  3. procurement of Stationery and General Office Supplies via Corporate Express (refer Supervisor Purchasing and Assets - Finance Office );

(111) New Contracts as negotiated will be advised as updates to this Policy.

Part P - Government Contracts

(112) Where a Government Contract is in existence covering goods or services, UWS Centres may purchase under the Government Contract without seeking quotes. Procurements under Government Purchase Contracts with a value in excess of $20,000 must still be referred to the Purchase and Tender Board for approval.

(113) The University of Western Sydney is an approved user of contracts for goods and services managed by the State Contracts Control Board. NSW Supply is responsible for arranging and administering contacts on behalf of the State Contracts Control Board.

(114) The Supervisor Purchasing and Assets can advise if goods or services are available under a Government Contract and whether such contracts are assessed as offering the lowest cost procurement option. (Note: from time to time it can be possible to obtain competitive prices below a Government Contract).

(115) Government Contract details are available over the Internet to all University staff following registration as a web user.

(116) Registration and contract information is available at the NSW Department of Commerce website.

Part Q - Goods and Services Tax (GST)

(117) The University pays GST on all goods and services purchased. Where the University activity using the goods and services is classified as 'taxable' an input tax credit (ITC) is claimed back from the Tax Office on a monthly basis. The exception is where the activity relates to an input taxed supply in which case there is no entitlement to claim an ITC.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(118) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(119) Nil.