2. Procurement principles

2.1 Understand and apply the six procurement principles

Principle 1: Achieve 'value for money'

What achieving this principle looks like in practice.

'Value for money' decisions

All procurement decisions achieve 'value for money'. 'Value for money' decisions must consider:

  • relevant government economic, ethical, social and environmental objectives and targets including but not limited to 'local benefits'; and Best Practice Principles (for projects where the Best Practice Principles apply)
  • whole-of-life costs
  • non-cost factors.

Whole-of-life costs can include acquisition costs, such as the contract price, initial transactional costs, ongoing payment options, operating costs, maintenance costs, support costs, transition out (costs of disengaging from a 'supplier' on expiration or termination of a contract) and disposal costs. Whole-of-life costing should be scaled to the value, risk and complexity of the procurement.

Non-cost factors must, at a minimum, consider:

  • fitness-for-purpose (this may include alignment with procurement objective(s), compliance with specifications, and quality)
  • 'supplier' capability, capacity, experience, including delivery and after-sales service and support
  • risk (this may include operational and reputational risks).


The following procurement-specific targets must be pursued wherever possible:

  • increase government procurement with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander businesses to three per cent of 'addressable spend'
  • source at least 30 per cent of procurement by value from Queensland 'small and medium enterprises'.

The Queensland Government has set economy-wide emissions reduction targets of:

  • 30 per cent emissions reduction below 2005 levels by 2030
  • net zero emissions by 2050.

To contribute to the abovementioned emissions reduction targets, the following procurement-specific targets must be pursued:

  • the Department of Environment and Science (DES) will work with priority 'categories' and 'agencies' to identify and estimate tonnes of greenhouse gas emitted
  • an emissions baseline will be set for each priority 'category' by 2024 and priority procurement activities identified that can contribute to reducing agreed emission levels
  • following approval of the emissions baseline and commencing from 2025, priority procurement activities will aim to reduce emissions by at least 30 per cent from the baseline by 2030, with a recommended target of 5 per cent reduction from the baseline per year.

Principle 2: Apply a 'responsible public procurement' approach

What achieving this principle looks like in practice.

Throughout the procurement process, including contract management and disposal, we apply a' responsible public procurement approach'. Applying a 'responsible public procurement' approach means that wherever possible we use our 'procurement' activities to deliver added value for economic, ethical, social and environmental outcomes, consistent with 'government objectives'.

This includes but is not limited to the following examples:

  • pursuing targets consistent with Principle 1
  • supporting local jobs and businesses
  • delivering improved social outcomes
  • decarbonising the economy
  • applying requirements regarding the Ethical Supplier Threshold, Queensland Government Supplier Code of Conduct and where applicable, the Ethical Supplier Mandate.

Principle 3: Behave ethically, and embed integrity, probity and accountability

What achieving this principle looks like in practice.

We uphold a culture of ethics, integrity, probity and accountability, respecting the trust of all stakeholders including 'suppliers' and the community.

We display this culture in the following ways when undertaking our procurement activities:

  • complying with this Policy, as well as all relevant legislation, policy and codes
  • politely declining gifts or benefits from 'suppliers'
  • declaring actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest as soon as we become aware of them
  • properly securing and managing sensitive, personal and confidential information
  • being fair and impartial
  • offering and providing timely and appropriate feedback to 'suppliers' who have submitted tenders
  • actively manage contracts to monitor the delivery of obligations, and act on the failure of 'suppliers' to meet contractual obligations, including through contractual provisions or sanctions under the Ethical Supplier Mandate
  • facilitating timely payment of correctly rendered 'supplier' invoices
  • documenting decisions.

Principle 4: Be leaders in procurement practice

What achieving this principle looks like in practice.

We uphold a culture of continuous improvement in capability and performance.

We display this culture in the following ways:

  • investing in capability development and functional maturity improvement
  • sharing information to achieve a whole-of-government view of capability
  • staying up-to-date with our professional development
  • enhancing the consistency, timeliness and quality of practices, systems and information including data to improve procurement decision-making.

Principle 5: Collaborate for more effective outcomes

What achieving this principle looks like in practice.

We uphold a culture of collaboration.

We display this culture in the following ways:

  • supporting a 'category management' approach to 'procurement' by sharing information with category lead agencies and the Department of Energy and Public Works, improving category performance and outcomes
  • looking for opportunities to achieve greater savings and benefits by applying a 'category management' approach, and collaborating with other agencies on areas of common spend
  • aggregating demand where this makes sense and does not unreasonably ‘lock out’ small and medium enterprises from procurement opportunities
  • maintaining awareness of 'category' strategies relevant to our 'procurement' activities, and acting on them
  • collaborating with other relevant 'agencies' to increase efficiency, effectiveness and economy in 'procurement' activities at a whole-of-government level
  • establishing 'common-use supply arrangements' and panels based on the principle that all 'agencies' should be able to use them, unless there are sound business reasons and express provisions in the arrangement to limit access.

Principle 6: Support strong governance and planning

What achieving this principle looks like in practice.

We support governance structures established by this Policy and integrate planning at all levels, from ‘category’ strategies, through to agency procurement planning and ‘significant procurement’ planning.

We display this in the following ways:

  • complying with this Policy, and our ‘agency’s’ policies and/or procedures for ‘procurement’
  • maintaining awareness of ‘category’ strategies that are relevant to each ‘procurement’, and acting on them
  • using prequalification registers or lists when inviting ‘suppliers’, where these are mandated for use
  • where we are appointed to governance bodies established by this Policy, taking a whole-of-government view, and sharing our agency experience and perspective to inform decision-making
  • facilitating internal and external ‘procurement’ decision-making and reporting
  • supporting engagement across ‘agencies’, and between government, industry and unions.