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Purchasing and Procurement Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose of Policy

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to ensure financial probity by prescribing a range of appropriate methods for purchasing and procurement, including, where appropriate, a competitive tendering and contracting (CTC) process.

(2) Purchasing, tendering and contract letting are substantially devolved activities. This carries the risk of different practices operating at different standards creating exposure to liabilities caused by poor control over procurement and purchasing practices. This policy provides a framework that is practical for such a devolved environment.

(3) As a consequence of adhering to this policy, the University shall:

  1. obtain the best value for its purchases, in both cost and quality
  2. have a fast and efficient purchasing process;
  3. demonstrate financial probity and accountability to its clients, stakeholders, and the public interest
  4. successfully manage and prevent the potential for conflicts of interest
  5. utilise a transparent CTC process where chosen
  6. monitor and evaluate performance in purchasing and procurement
  7. be protected from complaints and legal actions mounted by potential suppliers who believe they have not received fair treatment
  8. provide guidance on acceptable expenses
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Section 2 - Application and Scope

(4) This Policy applies to:

  1. all University of Wollongong (UOW) entities;
  2. all University staff;
  3. Students and visitors, if the University is reimbursing or funding expenses;

(5) This policy does not apply to the sale or disposal of University property, assets, or services. The disposal of goods, property and assets is covered by the Asset Disposal Policy.

(6) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the supporting documents, procedures and forms as listed above.

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Section 3 - Policy Principles

(7) The following principles shall govern procurement policy and practice:

  1. value for Money principles;
  2. ethical principles;
  3. anti-slavery principles; and
  4. environmental sustainability principles.

(8) Purchasing and procurement should also be guided by:

  1. the  Reconciliation Action Plan; and
  2. the University’s position on Foreign Interference.

(9) The University’s requires that suppliers  meet minimum standards of behaviour against these principles and frameworks where applicable (as set out in the Supplier Management Procedures).

(10) Any individual engaged in purchasing and procurement on behalf of the University shall seek best value for money. The term “value” is not limited to the monetary cost of the supply but shall also consider a range of factors such as quality and service.

(11) Any staff member engaged in purchasing shall aim to:

  1. conserve funds through cost reductions without sacrificing quality;
  2. minimise total cost of ownership (see Definitions);
  3. reduce overheads; and
  4. reduce transaction volumes and streamline processes.

(12) Value is measured by:

  1. the suitability and compliance of the goods/services being procured;
  2. the service history of the supplier;
  3. the associated delivery and operating costs; and
  4. the cost of disposal.

(13) Staff members shall consider life cycle costing, i.e., the cost of the item over the life cycle of its use;

  1. a Life Cycle costing form shall be completed for all equipment purchases exceeding $5,000.
  2. all considerations to life cycle costing shall be carried out prior to placing an order

Ethical Principles

(14) There shall be an audit trail for all purchases. This ensures  transparency of decisions and review of purchasing practice.

(15) The conduct of procurement is subject to continuous auditing by the University and by external bodies such as the Audit Office of New South Wales and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

(16) Staff members shall ensure that they are not, or are not perceived to be, in a conflict of interest with any supplier (refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy).

(17) Staff members who have, or may be perceived to have, a vested interest in the outcome of a purchase must  disclose any conflict to their supervisor. They must discuss if  they should exclude themselves from any role in the purchase process. Consideration must  be given to:

  1. staff engaging in purchasing shall ensure that they are familiar with, and comply with, the Conflict of Interest Policy.
  2. staff engaging in procurement shall disclose any personal or business relationship as described in the Conflict of Interest Policy.
  3. Staff members shall not authorise payment to a person or organisation in which they have a material interest without prior written approval of the appropriate Head of Unit, Dean or Director.
  4. All conflicts of interest shall be advised to the staff member’s supervisor as soon as they arise.
  5. Any gifts or hospitality received in relation to the purchase of goods and services shall only be accepted in accordance with the University Code of Conduct.

(18) Goods / services may only be purchased from an individual or a company where a potential for conflict of interest exists after securing the prior written approval of the Head of Unit, Dean or Director.

(19) Goods and services that are purchased with University funds shall only be used for University purposes (not for private purposes).

(20) Staff members shall ensure probity, transparency, fairness, and accountability in all stages of the purchasing process.

Environmental Sustainability Principles

(21) Environmentally conscientious principles shall be considered alongside economic, anti-slavery and ethical principles. Consideration shall be given to:

  1. The procurement of products containing materials produced in a sustainable manner and/or reconditioned or recycled components.
  2. Use of suppliers that offer product stewardship, (e.g., suppliers that take back products at the end of their life, suppliers that provide a recyclable packing system).
  3. Preference for goods that are more energy-efficient and cause less impact on the environment.
  4. Preference should be given to minimising procurement of disposable or non-recyclable items.
  5. Preference should be given to those suppliers that minimise their energy consumption and adverse environmental impact.

Anti-Slavery Principles

(22) The University is committed to combatting Modern Slavery practices in its supply chains and its business operations and promoting practices to identify and reduce the risk of such practices when working within its local and international communities.

(23) Staff must consider the risk of Modern Slavery in relation to their purchasing practices and adhere to the Modern Slavery Risk Assessment Process when engaging new suppliers or re-engaging existing suppliers.

(24) Staff should consider giving preference to suppliers who:

  1. have submitted (if required) a modern slavery statement in accordance with either the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) or the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) or overseas equivalent, where such documentation evidences a strong commitment to addressing Modern Slavery;
  2. provide transparent, complete, and accurate information in relation to their supply chains where requested by the University;
  3. comply with, and request that that their supply chains comply with, all relevant labour and anti-slavery laws and standards in the supplier’s countries of operation;
  4. provide transparent, complete, and accurate evidence of existing policies, procedures, training, and systems for the purposes of complying with laws and standards.
  5. are otherwise considered by the relevant assessing staff member to have a lower Modern Slavery risk profile, as determined by the University’s Modern Slavery Risk Assessment Process.

Reconciliation Action Plan

(25) The University will seek out and support practical procurement practices to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses are well represented in tendering and contracting opportunities, which are measurable against UOW’s Aboriginal procurement commitments within its RAP.

(26) The University will maintain accurate records of Aboriginal business engagement by way of its business and supply register.

(27) All staff involved in procurement activities will ensure ongoing review of their performance against strategic objectives outlined within UOW’s RAP. The University will engage in procurement activities to actively ensure that there are no barriers for procuring goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and that support and advice is sought when required, through UOW’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee.  

Foreign Engagements

(28) If goods or services are to be purchased from a foreign government, foreign government agency or foreign university (in some circumstances), arrangements for doing so will be Foreign Arrangements. These must be notified to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, both at the negotiation stage and when finalised, in accordance with the Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020. Such notifications are coordinated by the Global Strategies Division.

(29) The University is committed to adhere to the Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector in its procurement practices. A proactive approach by the university sector to the threat of Foreign Interference helps to safeguard the reputation of Australian universities, protect academic freedom, and ensure our academic institutions and the Australian economy can maximise the benefits of research endeavours. Such a response is consistent with Australia’s Counter Foreign Interference (CFI) Strategy, which aims to increase the cost and reduce the benefit to foreign governments of conducting Foreign Interference in Australia.

(30) It is recommended that a review of the country of origin is included as part of the procurement process when dealing with international organisations.

(31) The University will maintain accurate records of Foreign Engagement during the supplier on-boarding process and by way of the University's Supplier master profile. The Procurement Manager will report bi-annually, through Global Strategies Division, any procurement activities undertaken in the University Procurement System classified as Foreign Arrangements.

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Section 4 - General Conditions and Provisions

(32) Funds are only to be used for a legitimate University purpose, meaning the expenses are reasonable and appropriate to the circumstances, and publicly defensible. The expenditure must not be, or perceived to be, excessive, and must meet the following principles:

  1. Necessary to perform a valid business purpose fulfilling the mission of the University.
  2. Reasonable in that the expense is not extreme or excessive and reflects a prudent decision to incur the expense.
  3. Allowable according to the terms of any legal or regulatory arrangement, contract, or University policy and procedure.

(33) The Acceptable Expense Guidelines provide examples of the most common types of expenses and outlines the expectations of the use of University funds. The specific examples listed in guidelines are not entitlements but provide guidance where there may be a legitimate need to incur such expenditures, subject to budget availability.

(34) Staff who incur expenditure against externally funded grant arrangements or similar must follow this policy and associated procedures and must also comply with the terms and conditions of the grant. Where there is an inconsistency between the terms of the external grant and the Acceptable Expense Guidelines, the terms of the external grant shall prevail.

(35) All credit cards transactions, out-of-pocket expense reimbursements, petty cash payments, and cash advances shall be processed via the University Expense Management System (EMS).

(36) Breaches of this policy, and or, associated provisions within the supporting documents, procedures and forms may result in disciplinary action.

(37) If there are multiple staff applicable to an expense claim, the expense must be incurred to the most senior staff member present.

(38) Reimbursements from petty cash to staff, students, or other persons able to use the Expense Management System is not permitted.

(39) Expense reimbursements for students follow a different process to staff, however the principles of this policy apply. Expenses incurred by staff in their capacity as a student may have an alternate approval workflow to their line manager and should be claimed using the BPM Payment form.

(40) All staff are responsible for ensuring that their purchases meet the WHS policy, guidelines, and requirements.

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Section 5 - Methods of Procurement

(41) The guidelines for the method of procurement and minimum requirements are summarised in the table below.

Value Risk Method Minimum Requirements
Low Value
<$5000
Low
Credit Card, Expense reimbursement, direct invoice
Invoice or transaction record
High Purchase Order One written quote
Low to Medium Value
>$5000 to $20,000
Low
Purchase order and/or direct invoice payment
One written quote
High Purchase Order EOI/ROI
Tender additional option
Medium Value to High Value
>$20,000 to $100,000
Low
Purchase order
EOI/ROI
Tender additional option
High Purchase Order Tender
High Value
>$100,000
>$20,000 for consultancies
All
Purchase Order
Tender

(42) The University uses a purchasing system called Unified for creating Purchase Orders and Payments. This system is the preferred method of ordering, except in those situations where it is deemed that petty cash or credit card is a more appropriate and cost-effective method of purchasing. Goods or services shall be acquired through one of the following options:

  1. direct purchase from a company/supplier using cash, credit card or Unified purchase order;
  2. direct purchase from a company/supplier pursuant to a standing contract;
  3. written quotations;
  4. call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) or Request for Proposals (RFP) (notify the Procurement Manager; or
  5. request for Tender (notify the Procurement Manager).

(43) In deciding the most appropriate method of procurement, Units shall consider:

  1. The level of risk that the procurement process poses.
  2. the value of the proposed purchase; and
  3. the possibility of achieving better value and quality by testing the market competitively.

Credit cards

(44) Credit cards are not intended as a substitute for the Unified system.

PayPal

(45) PayPal should only be used where other procurement methods are not appropriate and as a last resort.

(46) Where payment by PayPal is required the PayPal account must be set up in the name of the officer responsible for the University credit card attached to the PayPal account.

(47) The PayPal account must be set up with the University officer’s official university email address.

(48) As the PayPal account will be attached to a University credit card the use of the account is subject to the same terms and conditions and policy parameters as normal use of a corporate credit card.

eBay Purchases

(49) All eBay purchases require the prior approval of the Procurement Manager.

(50) In determining whether eBay is an appropriate source of supply, the Procurement Manager shall consider factors such as price, insurance, freight, warranty, after sales support, seller’s location, alternative suppliers, and any other relevant factors.

(51) Any purchases on eBay will require an account and a University corporate credit attached to that account. The eBay account must be set up in the name of the University officer responsible for the credit card. No eBay account will have University bank details attached to the account.

Petty cash

(52) Petty cash shall only be used for small value purchases where it is not appropriate to use either Unified or a corporate credit card.

Direct Purchase

(53) Goods/services of low risk, costing less than $5,000 shall be purchased to best advantage without formal written quotations subject to the following conditions:

  1. rates being considered reasonable and consistent with normal market rates for items of a like nature; and
  2. requirements not being split into components (or a succession of orders for the same goods or service) for the purpose of enabling the goods or service to be obtained under the $5,000 limit.

Direct purchase under a standing contract

(54) Standing contracts shall be used to allocate all or most work of a given type to a dedicated provider for a fixed period, usually two to three years. This usually occurs where the good or service is repeatedly or regularly used and often incorporates bulk discounts for volume and streamlined payment arrangements. The renewal of any standing contract shall be re-considered at the end of the contract period.

(55) For regularly used goods, a standing contract for supply may already exist. It is inefficient to let a new contract where one already exists unless there are significant savings to be gained. Units should check for the existence of such contracts when purchasing a type of item for the first time.

(56) All staff members are encouraged to use University-preferred suppliers in the first instance. If a staff member decides to purchase goods and services from a supplier other than a University preferred supplier, they are required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the University’s Procurement Manager that either:

  1. the alternate supplier can provide the goods or services at a significantly lower cost than the University preferred supplier (written quote required); or
  2. the goods or services available from the University preferred supplier are not fit for the purpose required (the decision shall be supported by evidence).

Direct purchase under Government contract:

(57) Where purchases are made under a State Government contract, quotes are not compulsory. However, for comparison purposes it is advisable to obtain alternative quotations. Pricing for the goods or services must be verified against the State contract price list.

(58) Where the goods or services are not listed on the State Government contract, quotes must be obtained in accordance with the requirements of this policy.

Non-order payments

(59) Staff members are discouraged from making non-order payments without prior approval. The University is not obliged to pay suppliers where a purchase order or prior approval has not been raised.

(60) Non-order payments may only be used in instances where a corporate credit card or purchase order is not practical, and the goods or services are of low value and there is no inherit risk due to safety or supply requirements. Non-order payments should be used for payments of regular services such as utilities (electricity, water, phone, etc.).

(61) Where a non-order purchase needs to be made, a manual invoice entry must be processed using the Unified system immediately after the purchase/receipt of invoice.

(62) Exemptions to purchase orders may apply in specific circumstances (because an alternate system is used for specific purposes). Examples include Library Management System and Utilities (e.g., electricity).

Written quotation

(63) For purchases requiring a written quotation,  at least three written quotations should be obtained subject to:

  1. rates being considered reasonable and consistent with normal market rates for items of a like nature;
  2. written quote should describe as a minimum; price, quantity, delivery time/period, terms and conditions and freight; and
  3. requirements not being split into components or a succession of orders, for the same goods or services for the purpose of enabling the goods/service to be obtained under the $20,000 limit.

(64) Three written quotations do not have to be obtained where the goods or services are proprietary (held under patent, trademark, or copyright), or are only obtainable from fewer than three suppliers.

Expressions of Interest /Request for Proposals (Competitive Tendering and Contracting)

(65) Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) consist of procedures that are intermediate between obtaining written quotations and seeking Tenders. EOI and RFP are generally used to cull an initial field of probable competitors who can provide innovative solutions to leading-edge or emerging issues within a given industry (e.g., a creative or technological solution).

(66) In the case of RFP or EOI, a detailed overview of the product or service concept that is required is prepared and forwarded, usually with a covering letter, to a number of identified suppliers who are invited to submit written proposals. RFP and EOI can be announced in a variety of advertising mediums to achieve greatest exposure to potential contractors and tenderers. Unlike Tenders, in this model the University is subsequently able to negotiate variations to the specification with a preferred supplier.

(67) Exemptions to this requirement must be approved by the Procurement Manager.

Requests for Tendering (RFT) (Competitive Tendering and Contracting)

(68) For all high-risk purchases over $100,000 ($20,000 for consultancies), Units should use an RFT process unless a case can be made to the approving officer that there is no more than one single provider available or that the risk is so low that an alternative procurement process could be adopted. Exemptions to this requirement shall be sought in writing, with a detailed explanation to the Procurement Manager.

(69) The details of procedures to be followed for Competitive Tendering and Contracting are set out in the Tender Procedure.

(70) Exemptions to this requirement must be approved by the Procurement Manager.

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Section 6 - Use of Personal Funds to Buy Goods and Services

(71) The University discourages the use of personal funds to buy goods and services for work, study, and research purposes.

(72) Staff members, and other individuals, may only use personal funds to buy goods and services for the University if there are no alternative method of purchase, e.g., Unified, or corporate credit card.

(73) Unless exceptional circumstances apply, personal funds should only be used for minor, irregular purchases. Examples include train, taxi or bus fares whilst travelling on University business, meals or incidental costs whilst travelling.

(74) Staff members and other individuals using personal funds to purchase goods and services for University business shall  seek approval from the appropriate delegated officer prior to  making the purchase. If prior approval is not given, the University is not obliged to reimburse the claimant.

(75) If use of personal funds cannot be avoided, reimbursements to staff members and other individuals shall be claimed as soon as possible after the date of the expense, and claims shall not be stockpiled for bulk reimbursement.

(76) All claims for reimbursement of personal funds must be submitted through the Unified Expense Management System and claims shall include all records (receipts etc) to support the claim for reimbursement.

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Section 7 - Preferred Suppliers

(77) The University has a list of preferred suppliers for the provision of certain goods and services; the Preferred Supplier list is available from FFinancial Services Division.

(78) Staff members shall give priority to preferred suppliers and existing contracts.

(79) Where there is a requirement for goods and/or services to be procured from an alternative supplier the staff member shall:

  1. substantiate the reason for the decision.
  2. documented evidence, such as a substantially cheaper quote or details of better service provided, must be attached to the purchase order within Unified or within the University Records Management System.
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Section 8 - Addition of New Suppliers

Establishment of a new Preferred Supplier

(80) Where a unit identifies a need for the establishment of a standing agreement with a preferred supplier, the unit should contact the Procurement Manager.

(81) Long standing suppliers of goods and services to the University may be considered for preferred supplier status given the supply history, and subject to approval by the Procurement Manager.

(82) A standing agreement shall must include (as a minimum)::

  1. the preferred supplier shall provide the University with a specified minimum discount for all goods or services purchased;
  2. preferential terms of trade, such as net 40 days on a single consolidated invoice and where appropriate the ability to receive orders and send invoices in electronic format;
  3. payment via Electronic Funds Transfer; and
  4. value for money provisions such as the ability to return faulty goods or services, appropriate warranty terms and the provision of adequate service or repair backup.

(83) All proposed contracts with preferred suppliers shall be reviewed and approved by the Office of General Counsel and Procurement Manager, prior to execution of the same.

Addition of New Suppliers for one-off purchases

(84) New suppliers may be added to the University Supplier master profile after successful validation of their business details via the Eftsure platform.

(85) Approval requests will consider:

  1. the availability of the goods or services from a University preferred supplier or other existing supplier; and
  2. the specific purpose for which the goods or services are required.

(86) Under no circumstances shall orders be placed with a supplier prior to the establishment of the supplier in the University’s Supplier master profile. The University accepts no liability for orders placed in such circumstances.

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Section 9 - Engaging Consultants and Contractors

(87) When engaging a consultant or contractor, staff members shall:

  1. comply with this Policy;
  2. clearly determine the nature of the services required and justify the requirement;
  3. have the proposal to engage a consultant or contractor approved in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy;
  4. if applicable, invite and evaluate quotes from suitable providers; and
  5. implement an appropriate contract or agreement.

(88) Where it is likely that there will be a recurring need for consulting or contract services, staff members shall consider the merits of establishing a panel of suitable providers, or a strategic partnership with a preferred provider.

(89) Agreements shall be subject to review on a regular basis, preferably every one to two years during the term. Reviews should also take place prior to extending or renewing the arrangement.

(90) A record of the review must be maintained with contract where possible; this can be in the form of a file note, minutes, or other written communication.

(91) All persons engaged in the sourcing of consulting or contractor services shall comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

(92) Where a consultant is engaged to make recommendations on a course of action that will result in the subsequent procurement of goods or services from a supplier, the consultant shall comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

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Section 10 - Contract Management

(93) The University has established a Contracts Management Guideline, to put together a framework for a formalised approach to contract management, to set out responsibilities, provide tools and templates, and to support the contract management ongoing review process.

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Section 11 - Order Splitting

(94) Multiple orders, each within verbal quotation limits, which collectively amount to a substantial figure or contract, are not permissible. This is considered to be “order splitting.” Units shall forecast their needs for given services/goods and plan accordingly. Should repeat orders be required that amount to a substantial figure, a properly advertised Competitive Tendering and Contracting process shall be required.

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Section 12 - Controlled Practices

(95) Prescribed controls exist for:

  1. Units seeking work or tenders related to building works and maintenance, including reticulated services and landscape structures, shall have approval clearance from the Director, Facilities Management Division.
  2. Staff recruitment, advertising and use of recruitment agencies shall be approved by the Manager, People and Culture Business Partnering and Recruitment.
  3. All labour hire contracts, staff replacement or supplementary staffing contracts must be approved by the appropriate officer within the People and Culture Division.
  4. Information technology related purchases shall be directed to IMTS procurement team or must be approved by the Chief Information Digital Officer. This includes hardware, software, peripherals, mobile devices, and any other equipment that may connect to the university network or connect to equipment that is connected to the network.
  5. Externally Hosted IT Services must be reviewed and approved via IMTS Procurement and may require review by Office of General Counsel.
  6. In certain cases, the University establishes standing contracts on an exclusive basis (i.e., where the chosen supplier shall be used) or on a preferred basis. There are policy controls on the use of alternative suppliers and a case shall be made to the Procurement Manager for not utilising a standing or preferred suppliers.
  7. Engagement of Legal services or advice requires approval by Office of General Counsel (for general matters) or People and Culture Division (for staff related matters).
  8. With respect to some types of activities, the University requires that the service be provided in-house, e.g., payroll.
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Section 13 - Prepayment of purchase orders

(96) Prepayment of purchase orders is discouraged and shall only occur when there are specific operational needs. Staff members shall seek approval from the Procurement Manager for prepayment.

(97) In certain situations, a letter of credit may be arranged. This provides the supplier with a level of guarantee that the payment will be released promptly on receipt of the goods and/or service to an acceptable standard.

(98) A payment for a subscription is not considered a prepayment for the purposes of this clause.

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Section 14 - Records Management

(99) All transactions that take place in the course of procuring an item or a service shall be fully documented in accordance with the principles of full and accurate recordkeeping as outlined in the Records Management Policy. Staff members shall use the Unified system and/or the University Records Management System to ensure compliance.

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Section 15 - Purchase Management

Purchase order approval

(100) By approving the purchase order, non-order payment or contract, the approver is certifying that the transaction complies with all relevant financial policies and procedures, and that the Purchasing Officer has carried out duties in compliance with policy.

(101) The Purchasing Officer shall justify the decision based on evaluation criteria such as value for money, availability, urgency, quality, and service.

(102) Where a decision is made to purchase goods or services from a supplier other than a preferred supplier, the Purchasing Officer must be able to provide upon request documentation supporting the decision (for example, quotes).

(103) Hard copy information shall be scanned and stored in the document management system. Staff members shall bring to the attention of the Procurement Manager potential for the supply of goods and services that may be suitable for contract or panel supply arrangements, specifically high volume, high value goods/services that are purchased on a regular basis and might also be purchased by other faculties and divisions.

(104) Units shall incorporate market testing and contracting reviews for expensive items as part of their normal business planning and operational activities.

(105) Units do not necessarily need to seek competitive tenders to meet market testing requirements. This Policy seeks to ensure best value for money but cannot prescribe a process for every particular instance. The most appropriate means shall be determined after informed assessment which may involve:

  1. Understanding the costs of activities and the levels of performance being achieved.
  2. Benchmarking performance and processes against other comparable organisations and alternative providers, where applicable.
  3. Collaborating with other agencies in common service delivery arrangements and inviting competitive bids for the provision of suitable activities where internal efforts have not realised substantial improvements in efficiency or quality of service.

(106) Units shall ensure that all purchases comply with relevant Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) requirements as outlined in the WHS Purchasing Guidelines and Contractor Safety Guidelines.

(107) The purchasing officer shall confirm that sufficient funds exist to pay for the goods and services being purchased.

(108) Units shall note that the University’s standard terms of trade are for payment to be made 30 days from the invoice date. Staff members shall not commit purchases to suppliers that are not prepared to accept these terms unless this has been approved by the University’s Finance Manager or the Director, Financial Services Division.

(109) Before placing orders of significant value (> $10,000), staff members shall take steps to obtain a guarantee or warranty from the supplier covering the following issues/contingencies:

  1. Faulty goods/services
  2. Terms for late or non-delivery
  3. Loss or damage in transit
  4. Failure to meet contractual obligations
  5. Failure to meet specifications.

Financial investigation of a supplier

(110) Between the quotation or tender stage and the purchase order stage, the Procurement Manager may arrange for a financial check of the supplier, particularly if the supply is being sourced from an overseas supplier and there is reason to believe it would be difficult to recover prepaid money or contracted goods or services.

Receipt, inspection, and acquittal of goods

(111) The person initiating the requisition shall confirm that the goods have been received in good working order and/or that the service provided was of a satisfactory standard.

(112) Unified purchase orders shall be receipted in the Unified system in order to expedite payment.

(113) When signing for receipt of goods the receiver shall annotate the packing slip and carrier’s receipt with a suitable comment such as “subject to check” or “subject to inspection” where deemed to be required.

(114) The party responsible for delivery shall be responsible for loss or accidental damage in transit and shall be insured accordingly. The supplier shall ensure the goods are received in good working order at the final destination and that an appropriate method of delivery has been used.

(115) Where necessary, agreed delivery terms should be specified on the purchase order and also agreed delivery charges.

Dangerous goods

(116) The purchase, delivery, storage, distribution, and use of dangerous goods should be controlled as prescribed in the WHS guidelines.

Poor supplier performance

(117) Poor performance on the part of the supplier should be communicated to the Procurement Manager.

Freight and insurance charges

(118) Freight and insurance charges shall be agreed before the purchase order is issued. In most cases the supplier is responsible for insurance whilst in transit and freight charges to the port or airport of destination. The purchaser is responsible for customs clearance and local freight.

Asset purchases

(119) Refer to the Asset Management Policy on the Financial Services web site.

(120) Equipment purchases over $5,000 and valuable items costing between $500 and $5,000 (as defined in the Asset Management Policy) shall be registered as assets and recorded on the fixed asset register.

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Section 16 - Goods and Services Tax (GST)

(121) GST is applied to most non-essential goods and services, and the University is required to pay GST where-ever it is charged.

(122) When using the Unified system or transacting business via other methods, the appropriate GST code shall be recorded to ensure that the University can claim “input tax credits.” Further advice regarding GST and its implications can be found on the Financial Services web page.

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Section 17 - Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and Payroll Tax (PRT)

(123) FBT may apply to the purchasing goods and services that are intended as benefits to staff (e.g., lunch, dinner, or a Christmas Party.  

(124) FBT charged on the purchase is approximately equivalent to the original cost of the purchase, and this tax is debited from the account incurring the expense.

(125) Payroll tax also applies to goods and services that attract FBT; this tax is also debited from the account incurring the expense.

(126) Measures can be taken to reduce the amount of FBT and PRT incurred and further advice can be obtained from Financial Services.

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Section 18 - Roles and Responsibilities

(127) Individual units and faculties are responsible for the purchase of goods and services.

(128) The Purchasing Officer is responsible for:

  1. assessing whether a preferred supplier is in place;
  2. obtaining additional information required for decision-making, and/or, for providing a specification to a supplier;
  3. obtaining additional information with regard to the conditions of the contract, confirmation of price and availability of goods/services;
  4. selection of supplier; and
  5. application of probity, transparency, and fairness.
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Section 19 - Definitions

Word/Term
Definition (with examples if required)
Approving Officer
As per the Delegations of Authority Policy
Best and Final Offer
In the context of this policy, and particularly Competitive Contracting and Tendering processes (CTC, see below), the term “best and final offer” refers to final negotiations with the selected supplier(s) to extract the best terms.
Close Personal Friend
Is intended to refer to intimate and/or close personal and social relationships that are or have been established between University employees and individuals external to the University. It does not refer to professional working relationships that may be established with personnel internal, or external, to the University.
Competitive Contracting and Tendering (CTC) processes
Refers to the continuum of market-testing processes including Expressions of Interest (EOI), Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Tender (RFT). Competitive Tendering and Contracting in this policy is understood to be the process of selecting a preferred supplier from a range of potential suppliers after inviting proposals and evaluating the proposals against specific selection criteria.
Consultancy
Refers to the procurement of external consultants or consultancy services to the University. Consultancies are primarily for provision of labour. Consultants are not to be appointed to established positions within the University. Consultancy does not refer to the provision of services from the University to external organisations or to the exchange of services within the University.
 
Consultants should not be appointed to established positions within the University without following standard recruitment guidelines and procedures.
 
The term “consultant” may at times be interchangeable with the term “contractor”.
Contractor
Refers to provision of labour and/or materials and/or equipment to the university.
Contractors should not be appointed to established positions within the University without following standard recruitment guidelines and procedures.
The term “contractor” may at times be interchangeable with the term “consultant”.
Donation 
A donation is a gift. 
Expressions of Interest (EOI)
Public invitation to potential suppliers to provide a wide range of solutions in response to a brief statement of business requirements.
Foreign Arrangement
A foreign arrangement is a written agreement, contract, understanding or undertaking between an Australian State/Territory entity (including the University) and certain foreign entities (primarily foreign governments and agencies, including certain universities), whether or not there are any other parties to the arrangement and whether it is legally binding or not. 
Foreign Interference
As described in the ‘Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector’, foreign interference occurs when activities are carried out by, or on behalf of a foreign actor, which are coercive, covert, deceptive or corrupting and are contrary to Australia’s sovereignty, values, and national interests.
Gift 
An item offered to or received by a staff member, or affiliate, in the context of their University role (not a formal gift to the University) or provided to an external party by a staff member, or affiliate, in the context of their University role, that has financial value; physical form; or can be considered a favour. The term includes but is not limited to meals, tickets, bottles of alcohol, chocolates, hospitality, ties or other items of clothing, ornaments, artwork or similar, items of historical or cultural significance, cash or vouchers which can be exchanged for goods. 
Government Contract
A State or Federal contract for goods or services where a competitive contracting and tendering process has already been undertaken.
Grant 
The award of financial assistance from a grant-making body, which may include a corporation, foundation, or trust. A grant is considered a gift if the grant does not involve the return of any material benefit to the grant-maker. Federal, state, and local government grants are not philanthropic and are therefore out of scope of this policy. 
IMTS
Information Management and Technology Services at the University of Wollongong.
Life cycle costing
The terms “total cost of ownership” and “life cycle costing” refer to the ongoing, as well as initial, cost(s) of the purchase, e.g., the cost of installation, building and service modifications, maintenance, warranty, support, refills and complementary product, compatibility with other equipment and the cost of disposal.
Modern Slavery
Slavery and slavery-like practices involving serious exploitation that include:
the holding and/or exercise of any or all of the powers attached to the right of ownership over a person or a child;
servitude, forced labour, deceptive recruitment for labour or services, forced marriage, and debt bondage;
international and domestic trafficking in persons, children, and/or human organs;
harbouring a victim of trafficking in assistance of the primary perpetrator of human trafficking; and
the worst forms of child labour.
Modern Slavery Risk Assessment Process
An internal process by which the University’s suppliers are assessed against an established set of Modern Slavery risk criteria; segmented by their resulting risk profile and the relevant level of University expenditure, which then determines further actions to be undertaken and/or the setting of re-assessment timeframes.
Per Diem
An allowance or payment made for each day.
Personal Use
Use that cannot be classed as Promotional Communications and that cannot be reasonably linked to Professional Use.
Preferred supplier
A preferred supplier is one that has been selected by the University, following a market-testing process, and offers significant benefits to the University.
Product stewardship
Refers to the service that a supplier may provide in disposing of the goods after they have served their useful life.
Proposal
An invitation in writing to perform work or supply goods for a set rate in response to the business need set out in a Request for Proposal.
Purchasing Officer
For the purpose of this policy the term Purchasing Officer refers to any staff member sourcing the goods or services and raising a requisition, an order, or a payment to purchase goods and services.
Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
Reconciliation Action Plan for UOW registered with Reconciliation Australia.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
A form of Expression of Interest seeking solutions to a business need, where there are less prescribed specifications and information available to warrant the issue of a comprehensive Request for Tender.
Request for Tender (RFT)
Public invitation to potential suppliers to submit Tenders where the requirements and specifications are clearly defined.
Risk
Fundamentally, risk shall be understood to mean the extent to which the University is unable to meet the policy purposes, outcomes and principles intended as a consequence of an inappropriate choice of procurement process.
Standing contract
In the context of this policy the term standing contract refers to a contractual agreement with a supplier. Usually, these contracts are for a specific duration and/or a specific value.
Supply Nation
National Directory of verified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
Tender
An invitation in writing to perform work or supply goods for a set rate in response to the specific requirements and specifications set out in a Request for Tender.
Total cost of ownership
The terms” total cost of ownership” and “life cycle costing” refer to the ongoing, as well as initial, cost(s) of the purchase, e.g., the cost of maintenance, warranty, support, refills and complementary products, compatibility with other equipment and the cost of disposal.
Visitor
Any person coming onto a University campus who is not a student or staff member
WHS
Workplace Health and Safety