The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) have recently been updated, for procurements undertaken from 1 January 2019.  

While the changes are not radical, they do prompt us to keep on top of our procurement frameworks to ensure compliance. The important changes are outlined below. 

Procurement framework 

Templates, such as the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS), are now mentioned in CPR 2.4 as part of the procurement framework.   

Value for money assessment 

There are now clear statements in CPR 4.5 (and the Foreword) that price is not the only factor in value for money.  It now articulates the approach that has always been adopted in practice. 

Use of recycled products is now an explicit part of environmental sustainability in CPR 4.5.    Operating costs are an additional example of whole-of-life costs in CPR 4.6.    Complaints 

New text has been added to CPR 6.8 requiring relevant entities to also apply timely complainthandling procedures, including prompt complaint acknowledgement. This is noteworthy as relevant entities will soon also be subject to the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 (Cth). 

Procurement risk 

CPR 8.2 now requires agencies to address risk in a procurement, not just identify, analyse and allocate it. 

Death of the multi-use list 

In CPRs 9.1 and 9.9, prequalified tender has been removed as a procurement method and the reference to the Legal Services Multi-Use List is no more. 

Limited tenders 

CPR 9.11 now requires agencies to report on AusTender the basis on which they conduct a limited tender.   

Limited tenders now need to meet the specifications rule in CPRs 10.9-10.13.  See CPR 10.4.   

Procurements from panels and other standing orders 

CPR 9.12 clarifies that these procurements must comply with Division 1, but need not comply with Division 2.   

Standards 

CPR 10.10 now makes international standards, rather than Australian standards, the default benchmark for use in specifications for goods or services.   

Time in market 

Time in market for “commercial goods and services” must now be at least 13 days (rather than 10) if submissions cannot be lodged electronically (eg through AusTender).   

Procurement of motor vehicles 

These procurements are no longer exempt from Division 2 (see Appendix A).