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Procurement Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction 

(1)  UON's Procurement Policy (Policy) has been shaped by the following legislative/strategic priorities:

  1. Public accountability
    UON is publicly accountable for the use of its funds.
  2. Strategic alignment
    One of UON's strategic focus areas critical to the achievement of its 2025 Vision, is "Taking care of our future", which aims to enhance UON's financial position.
  3. Reputation protection
    Supporting the fair and equitable treatment of all potential suppliers to UON, which enhances UON's reputation.

(2) This Policy must be read in conjunction with the Tender Procedure, Purchasing Card Policy and Quotation Procedure.

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Section 2 - Audience and Application 

(3) This Policy applies to all UON staff and controlled entities for the procurement of all goods and services for UON, including capital expenditure, regardless of the source of funding.

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Section 3 - Policy Intent 

(4) The intent of this Policy is to provide a framework of principles to guide the establishment, operation and monitoring of UON's procurement. The principles described in this document promote the fair and equitable treatment of all potential suppliers and meet UON's business requirements.

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Section 4 - Policy Principles 

(5) Every arrangement that is an outcome of procurement must be authorised in accordance with UON's Delegation of Authority Policy.

(6) UON's procurement is governed by the following key principles with due consideration for UON's legislative, occupational health and safety and other compliance requirements:- 

  1. value for money;
  2. open and fair competition;
  3. transparency, probity, equity and ethical behaviour; 
  4. risk management;
  5. responsible financial management;
  6. social and environmental impact;
  7. planning and strategy development;
  8. formation of supply relationships; and
  9. timely and accountable decision-making.

(7) Please refer to Schedule 1 of this Policy for interpretations of these principles.

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Section 5 - Roles and Responsibilities 

Role Responsibilities
UON Vice-Chancellor
Approval of changes to this Policy
UON CFO
Ownership of this Policy
Strategic Procurement
- Administration of this Policy
- Administration of procurement
- Provision of advice and support to Units, Divisions, Faculties and Committees in connection with procurement
- Monitoring compliance with this Policy and notification of instances of non-compliance as described in section 6 below
Units, Divisions, Faculties and Committees
- Implementation of business processes within their respective areas to ensure compliance with this Policy
- Management of all risks associated with procurement
- Ensuring appropriate engagement with Strategic Procurement and other stakeholders to ensure compliance with this Policy
Council Services & Chancellery
Managing UON's external relationships in relation to regulatory requirements
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Section 6 - Compliance and Monitoring 

(8) Strategic Procurement is responsible for monitoring compliance with this Policy and managing the exemption process.

(9) The implementation of and compliance with this Policy and the supporting procedures will be audited as part of UON's internal audit cycle.

(10) Breaches of this Policy will be recorded by Strategic Procurement in a register and will be subject to an appropriate escalation process, having regard to the severity of the breach.

(11) The Council will receive reports on relevant matters associated with the implementation of and compliance with this Policy and the supporting Procedures via its Committees e.g. Risk Committee (for audit and exception reporting) and Finance Committee (for monitoring budget and expenditure).

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Section 7 - Key Procurement Principles (Attachment 1)

In the context of this document, key procurement principles will be evaluated against the criteria listed below.

Value for Money

(12) Potential suppliers will be evaluated against criteria that relate to:-

  1. strategic fit and consistency with the UON's objectives;
  2. non-cost factors such as fitness for purpose, quality, timely delivery, ongoing service support, warranty and legal compliance;
  3. whole-of-life costs including transaction costs, installation, operation, maintenance and disposal.

(13) Where appropriate, UON will undertake a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether leasing is a more suitable option than outright ownership.

(14) In the case of professional services, UON will also give consideration to the relative merits of a consultancy as compared to an employment contract.

Open and Fair Competition

(15) Open and fair competition between suppliers support UON's commitment to obtaining best value for money and ensuring transparency, probity, equity and ethical behaviour.

(16) UON will ensure that:

  1. the competitive strategy is appropriate for the specific procurement and approved by an authorised delegate;
  2. staff involved in the process have up-to-date knowledge of the market and UON's requirements;
  3. potential suppliers are:-
    1. provided with consistent information and opportunity,
    2. are evaluated against defined criteria, and
    3. bear minimal cost for participating in the procurement process; and
  4. specifications and tender documentation will not be prepared to favour or disadvantage particular suppliers provided that UON's business requirements are met.

Transparency, Probity, Equity and Ethical Behaviour

(17) UON conducts its procurement processes with the highest regard for transparency, probity, equity and ethical behaviour such that:- 

  1. goods and services will be procured for authorised business purposes only and not private use, in accordance with external legislation and/or obligations as well as UON's policies and procedures;
  2. confidentiality will be maintained in all dealings;
  3. conflicts of interest (potential, perceived or actual) and personal/business relationships will be disclosed and dealt with in accordance with UON's Conflicts of Interest Policy;
  4. gifts, gratuities or any other benefits that may influence (or be perceived to influence) the procurement process will be declined; and
  5. accurate and sufficiently detailed records will be kept to document the process, justify the outcome and provide an audit trail for regular review.

(18) In the event of a perceived or actual conflict of interest, the relevant staff member may be excluded from aspects of the procurement process as appropriate in accordance with UON's Conflicts of Interest Policy.

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Section 8 - Risk Management

(19) Risk Management is a primary consideration and potential risks will be identified, analysed, evaluated, treated and monitored across the procurement process with reference to UON's interests and risk tolerance.

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Section 9 - Responsible Financial Management

(20) UON will exercise responsible financial management in all procurement processes such that:- 

  1. UON funds will be used appropriately and effort will be made to contain the costs of the procurement wherever possible;
  2. procurement activities will not be initiated without confirmation that funds are available within an approved UON budget;
  3. staff will not authorise or approve expenditure of UON's funds in excess of their delegation limits; and
  4. the performance of ongoing contracts will be monitored and evaluated to ensure continuing value for money for UON.
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Section 10 - Social and Environmental Impact

(21) UON has a responsibility to ensure that its procurement activities consider relevant social, community and environmental issues. Provided goods and services are fit for purpose and offer best value for money according to the evaluation criteria, consideration will be given to:

  1. products containing materials that are produced or distributed in a sustainable manner;
  2. purchasing local products and services where possible;
  3. products that are more energy-efficient and minimise their adverse environmental impact;
  4. suppliers that minimise their energy consumption and adverse environmental impact;
  5. suppliers that offer product stewardship by assisting UON in responsible disposal of products and minimisation of waste;
  6. business practices that support the global fair trade movement aimed at tackling poverty and empowering producers through trade; and
  7. the overall track record and reputation of the supplier in terms of environmental issues.
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Section 11 - Planning and Strategy Development

(22) Planning and development of a procurement strategy will be undertaken for:-

  1. any engagement and/or project that is valued at over $150,000 (GST exclusive) for operational goods and services and over $250,000 (GST exclusive) for capital and research. When estimating the value of the engagement / project, the total value of all elements relating to the engagement/project must be included; and/or
  2. any procurement for the engagement of professional consultants and independent contractors, to ensure that UON acts in accordance with the key principles in this Policy.

(23) The development of the procurement strategy will be coordinated by Strategic Procurement with input from a range of internal stakeholders:

  1. the relevant business area in terms of scope of work and timeline;
  2. Financial Services in terms of funding availability and/or appropriate financing strategies;
  3. Legal Services in terms of the type of legal contract and ongoing contract management;
  4. Risk and Assurance Services in terms of the risk assessment and mitigation; and
  5. Strategic Procurement in terms of the procurement methodology, timeline, evaluation criteria, commercial terms and ongoing contract management.

(24) For large capital expenditure projects, the procurement strategy should consider specific engagements in the context of delivery of the overall project to achieve the best outcomes for UON and potential suppliers.

(25) The procurement strategy must be approved by an authorised officer or Committee in accordance with the UON's Delegation of Authority Policy and supporting procedures.

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Section 12 - Formation of Supply Relationships

(26) Wherever possible, UON will seek to develop ongoing relationships with suppliers, especially for commonly purchased goods and services.

(27) With reference to the principles outlined in this Policy, UON may establish schemes and/or processes to approve supply relationships on the basis of a qualified or exclusive basis.

(28) In exceptional circumstances, an exemption to using a contracted UON supplier may be approved by the Chief Financial Officer or Associate Director, Strategic Procurement.

(29) UON will monitor the performance of its suppliers to ensure that it continues to obtain best value for money in procurement activities.

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Section 13 - Timely and Accountable Decision-making

(30) This Policy is underpinned by the Tender Procedure, Quotation Procedure and Purchasing Card Policy that support timely decision-making across UON.

(31) These Procedures include specific delegations of authority to UON officers and Committees in accordance with the UON's Delegation of Authority Policy and supporting Delegation Procedures.