Engaging Consultants

Building and construction and/or roads and bridges consultants must be engaged in accordance with the requirements contained in the Treasurer's Instructions (in particular, the Treasurer's Instruction 1216) and the Procurement Practices Manual - Best Practice for the Engagement of Consultants.

Note: For clarity, all policies of general application also apply to the engagement of consultants, unless otherwise stated in the Instruction.

Prequalified consultants and how to engage consultants

Treasurer's Instruction 1216 provides where there is an appropriate and applicable prequalification category, only prequalified consultants are engaged.

Where prequalified consultants are engaged the procurement process to be adopted is set out in the Procurement Practices Manual - Best Practice for the Engagement of Consultants.

Where applicable prequalification categories do not exist (or for the engagement of consultants for roads and bridges projects), agencies must undertake a procurement process that ensures that the recommended consultant possesses the technical and financial capability, as well as other capabilities that the agency considers to be relevant to the project. This requires agencies to:

  • seek at least one quotation for procurement valued at $10000 or less;
  • seek at least 3 quotes for procurements valued at more than $10000 but less than $100000;
  • conduct an open tender for procurements with a value of $100000 or more; or
  • if relevant circumstances exist, seek approval for direct/limited submission sourcing (refer Direct/Limited Submission Sourcing).

Where an agency wishes to engage a consultant who is not prequalified, and prequalified consultants are registered for the particular work that is being undertaken, an exemption from the requirement to use a prequalified consultant may be approved by the Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance. Such an exemption will only be approved in exceptional circumstances, where conclusive justification of the request is provided and retrospective exemptions will not be granted.

Sub-consultants

Agencies must ensure that where sub-consultants are to be engaged by a consultant, the sub-consultant, where appropriate categories exist, is also to be prequalified to the appropriate levels. 

Information on prequalified consultants

A list of prequalified building and construction consultants is located on the Tenders website. A login is required to access this section of the database.

Insurance

Agencies must ensure that consultants retain suitable levels of Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance and Public Liability (PL) insurance for the scope of the services being undertaken. Further information is available at Insurance Guidelines.

Tender and contract requirements

The Australian Standard AS 4121-1994 'Code of ethics and procedures for the selection of consultants' must be adhered to when selecting and engaging consultants.

The contract to be used when engaging a consultant is the AS 4122-2010 General Conditions of Contract for Consultants (unless a more appropriate contract is deemed suitable by the Crown Solicitor). This contract, which includes Annexures, details all contractual requirements between the Crown and the consultant. At the planning stage of engaging consultancy services for relevant projects, agencies must seek advice from the Office of the Crown Solicitor to:

  • ensure AS 4122-2010 is the appropriate contract to be used for the circumstances of the particular case; and if so:
  • obtain a copy of the Schedules that have been drafted by the Crown Solicitor amending the Annexures of AS 4122-2010 for inclusion with the contract; and
  • obtain advice on how to complete the Annexures to AS 4122-2010.

Where AS 4122-2010 is used, agencies must ensure they have an appropriate licence from SAI Global to use and amend the standard before releasing any request for bids documentation.

The User Guide, AS 4122-2010 and its Annexures are available to download from the SAI Global website. To obtain a licence for the amendment and use, reproduction and distribution of SAI Global material, contact SAI Global on (02) 8206 6355 or email copyright@saiglobal.com

The Procurement Practices Manual - Best Practice for the Engagement of Consultants should be referred to for information on mandatory and suggested clause inclusions. In addition, all procurement documentation must include provisions in relation to the Government's position on zero tolerance towards violence against women, as provided in Treasurer's Instruction 1216.

The Crown Contracts Confidentiality Policy should also be referred to in relation to requirements impacting on confidentiality provisions.

Performance reporting

An important method for maintaining currency of information on consultant performance and for documenting issues that arise is by way of consultant performance reports. In some cases the completion of performance reports when using prequalified consultants is mandatory.

For further information refer to Performance Reporting.