Policy report

Model client policy: proposal for all government jurisdictions

Infrastructure Business ethics Government expenditure Government procurement Australia
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apo-nid176061.pdf 4.47 MB

The association for consulting firms in the built environment has released a new policy calling for government to lead by example to save taxpayer’s dollars and capitalise on the building boom across major cities.

The ‘Model Client Policy’ by Consult Australia is a series of principles to ensure governments behave ethically and fairly in their dealings their suppliers. It deliberately emulates existing model litigant policies in place across federal and local government, excluding Western Australia and South Australia, to demonstrate such a policy can be introduced.

Megan Motto, Chief Executive of Consult Australia, said: “We hear a lot about industry muscle, but government has muscle too, through its size, stability and tremendous purchasing power. This is particularly true at the moment, as many governments are investing heavily in infrastructure. Yet with great power comes great responsibility, and governments need to lead by example.”

Fourteen principles documented in the policy cover contracts, fairness and risk allocation; working relationships and communication; and payment on time. “It is more important than ever that government and industry work collaboratively together. If it not, it can have a devastating impact, particularly on small firms, leading to cashflow issues or simply some of our best and brightest have little choice but to walk away from work they could be doing to make our cities better,” Motto said.

The Model Client Policy builds on Consult Australia’s 2015 report ‘The Economic Benefits of Better Procurement’ which highlighted taxpayers could save 5.4% on the cost of projects if government and industry worked better together.

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