Australia's federal, state and territory governments are variously in the process of adjusting their procurement frameworks to give effect to Australia's obligations under international free trade agreements (FTAs). Each government has its own procurement framework, and so the approach to implementing the international FTAs differs in each jurisdiction.
That said, in each case the relevant government needs its agencies that are 'covered' by international FTAs to:
- comply with the procurement requirements of the relevant FTAs; and
- provide suppliers with a process for resolving complaints regarding non-compliance with the procurement requirements that requires agencies to consider complaints impartially and in a timely manner, and that gives suppliers the right to have their complaint reviewed by an impartial external body if it is not resolved.
Why should I read on?
- If you supply goods or services to government in Australia, procurement rules arising under international free trade agreements make procurement processes fairer for you, and give you stronger legal rights if the rules are breached.
- If you are a government agency in Australia, you will want to ensure that your procurement processes and associated complaints processes comply with the rules.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.