New reforms to deliver better outcomes from procurement on WA Government projects

The WA government is changing procurement practices to bolster the local building and construction industry for Department of Finance-led construction projects, including schools, hospitals and police precincts.

The Safe and Fair Reform Package follows recommendations from the Master Builders Association of WA (MBA WA), Building and Construction Consultative Committee (BCCC) and Western Australian unions on how to leverage Government procurement to achieve better outcomes for builders, subcontractors and workers.

BCCC members include the Master Builders Association of WA, Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of WA, CFMEU, Multiplex, the Property Council and UnionsWA.

The reforms will help support industry in what has been a challenging environment with labour shortages and supply chain issues.

The first stage of reforms will deliver changes to the Department’s contracting framework to improve builders’ cashflow by improving the payment certification process, enabling builders to claim pre-commencement costs, and allowing for earlier release and/or reductions in the securities held on contract.

The reforms will also deliver increased transparency on the tendering process, ensure tenders are assessed in a timely manner and make it easier for builders to seek variations to their contracts where required.

The first stage of reforms, taking place this year, will also see a code of conduct developed in consultation with industry that sets out the Government’s expectations for the suppliers it does business with.

The second stage will deliver further improvements to contracting terms, including alternative models of contract. Best practice principles for projects valued at $100 million or more will be developed for implementation in 2025. The principles will build on the code of conduct and ensure builders provide the highest possible standards for people engaged on major Department of Finance projects.