Significant changes have emerged from the Queensland Government's new State Procurement Policy that came into effect on 1 January 2008.
One of the issues the Queensland Government has sought to highlight in the Policy is sustainability. In announcing the new Policy, the Department of Works, states that it "sets out to ensure the State Government’s purchasing power is used to acquire goods that are more environmentally friendly." Further, it claims that the Queensland Government Chief Procurement Office is already leading the way in "green procurement".
In August 2007, the Queensland awarded a whole-of-Government arrangement for desktop computers, laptops and file servers that called for energy-saving features in hardware, responsible recycling and disposal, and environmentally-conscious manufacturing.
In a brochure outlining what the Policy means for government agencies, there are a number of new features that will be of interest to suppliers. From 1 January 2008:
- Agencies must publish and maintain a Forward Procurement Schedule on the Queensland Government Chief Procurement Officer (QGCPO) website.
- Agencies must prepare Significant Procurement Plans for high expenditure or high risk procurements
- All agencies must advertise open tenders on the QGCPO website
- Agencies must give consideration in their procurement decisions to goods and services that have a lower impact on the environment.
Items 1-3 above seem to represent the Queensland Government's providing enhanced procurement information in line with its obligations under the Australia/US Free Trade Agreement.