Businesses that engage in illegal activity can be banned from tendering for WA Government projects or have current contracts cancelled under new procurement reforms that come into effect on January 1, 2022.
In Australia’s first debarment regime, the State Government will have the power to suspend or debar suppliers for a range of offences — from fraud to breaches of occupational health and safety legislation.
In the worst cases of wrongdoing, such as a supplier being convicted of fraud, bribery or corruption, the new regime could be used to prevent these suppliers from doing business with the State Government.
The Government said the regime will enable suppliers to operate on a level playing field rather than adjust their own business practices to compete with competitors who are engaging in corruption.
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It will apply to suppliers who supply and subcontract to supply goods, services, community services and works to the Government as well as proposed suppliers and subcontractors.
There will be three categories of debarment conduct with the most serious conduct leading to suppliers being debarred for up to five years.
“The debarment regime excludes from government contracts, at a whole of government level, suppliers who do not run their businesses responsibly,” said Finance Minister Tony Buti.
“Such businesses can undermine fair competition, which has flow-on impacts to workers and wider economic growth.”
The WA Government is one of the biggest suppliers of goods and services in the State.
In September the Government announced new Aboriginal job and spend targets for State contracts that will also take effect from January 1.
CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey said CCIWA will be keeping a close eye on how the debarment regime operates to make sure it’s not unreasonably excluding WA businesses from public procurement processes.