Procurement practitioners may have noticed that on 25 May 2017, the Commonwealth Government introduced the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill 2017 designed to give the Commonwealth procurement rules some extra teeth.
What does the Bill propose?
The Bill would enable the Federal Court to grant an injunction or order for compensation for a contravention of relevant Commonwealth Procurement Rules by a Commonwealth entity.
A supplier whose interests are affected by the relevant conduct (which includes a potential supplier ie bidder) may make an application to the court for compensation or an injunction, which may halt the procurement process or preserve the supplier's rights in the process.
The Bill also provides for complaints to be made to the accountable authority of a relevant Commonwealth entity about a contravention of the relevant Rules, which must then be investigated.
Does this impact Victoria?
The bill does not affect state procurements. In Victoria, an unsuccessful bidder has to bring proceedings (including an injunction) against an agency under contract law, for breach of the contract that may have been formed through the procurement process.
If you'd like any more information about government procurement, please contact:
Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor
Managing Principal Solicitor