There are two options which can be used to facilitate purchasing from businesses that employ persons with disabilities:
1. Statement of Work
Agencies can enter into an agreement to purchase goods and / or services from National Disability Services Ltd.
NDS is the peak body for Australian Disability Enterprises. To facilitate purchasing from these businesses, the Department of Treasury and Finance has entered into a Head Deed with NDS. The Deed operates essentially as a non-mandatory whole of government common use contract.
Agencies can use the Statement of Work pursuant to the Deed to enter into an agreement to purchase goods and / or services (excluding building and construction) from NDS. NDS is then able to subcontract the work to one or more of the ADEs it represents.
2. Treasurers Instructions 1127 and 1231
Treasurer's Instructions 1127 and 1231 allow agencies flexibility to determine the most appropriate approach to procurement from disability enterprises. Under these Instructions, agencies can choose to either seek quotations or purchase directly, at their discretion, from businesses that predominantly exist to provide the services of persons with a disability, provided that the process undertaken is consistent with the intent of the Government's procurement policies and the principles contained in the Treasurer's Instructions 1101 and 1201. However, where more than one business can meet an agency's requirements, agencies are encouraged to seek quotations to ensure that value for money is achieved.
Businesses must meet minimum criteria in order for the Instructions to apply. Australian entities must be approved as an ADE and entities from all other jurisdictions must demonstrate that the predominant portion of employees are persons with a disability or that its predominant purpose is the provision of employment to persons with a disability.
It should be noted that the Instructions do not apply to procurement of goods and services (including construction services) for disabled persons, unless the business supplying the goods or services meets the minimum criteria set out above.
Agencies must document how a business meets the minimum criteria and must report details of all resulting contracts valued at $50 000 and over on the Tenders website and in agency annual reports. Apart from the requirement to obtain three quotes or go out to an open tender, all other relevant mandatory requirements of the procurement Treasurer's Instructions must still be met by agencies, including the Crown's confidentiality requirements.
Information in relation to ADEs, including guidance on those operating in Tasmania, can be located on the Australian Disability Enterprises website.