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Environmental Law Update – Proposed Changes to Local Government Tendering

The Local Government Amendment (Red Tape Reduction) Bill 2014 (‘the Bill’) has recently been introduced in NSW Parliament.

The Bill proposes a number of amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 (NSW) in respect of local government tendering.

The first amendment proposed by the Bill relates to joint or collective local government tendering. Under the current law, councils undertaking joint procurement must each separately resolve to accept a tender. The Bill proposes to remove the restriction on the delegation of tenders by councils in order to facilitate group purchasing by councils without the need to go back to each individual council for endorsement.

The second amendment proposed by the Bill relates to the threshold amount for which tenders must be sought. Currently, local councils are exempt from the requirement to invite tenders in relation to contracts involving an estimated expenditure or receipt of an amount of less than $150,000 (incl. GST). The Bill proposes to lift the threshold to $250,000 for Councils which have demonstrated they have sufficient scale and strategic capacity to become fit for the future. In all other circumstances the $150,000 threshold is maintained.
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