Purchasing Principles

The purchasing principles are embodied in Treasurer's Instructions 1101 and 1201. Instruction 1101 applies to goods and services and Instruction 1201 applies to building and construction / roads and bridges.

In practice this means...

Value for money: agencies must pursue value for money purchasing outcomes in accordance with the guidance information contained in the publication, How to Assess Value for Money.


Achieving the desired outcome at the best possible price.

weighing up the benefits of the purchase against the cost of the purchase. Value for money factors need to be specifically included in the specification and evaluation criteria and may include:

  • the contribution to the achievement of government policy objectives including those aimed at supporting local and regional business such as industry development and employment creation;
  • fitness for purpose;
  • maintenance and running costs over the lifetime of the product (where appropriate);
  • the advantages of buying from/engaging local and regional suppliers, eg
    • shorter delivery times
    • local backup and servicing
    • the availability of spare parts
    • the potential for creating strategic partnerships and cooperative product development;
  • quality assurance;
  • risks;
  • the capacity of the supplier (eg managerial and technical abilities);
  • climate change and environmental considerations (including energy conservation); and
  • disposal value.

Open and effective competition


Ensuring that the purchasing process is impartial, open and encourages competitive offers.

  • using transparent, open, purchasing processes so that potential contractors and the public can have confidence in the outcomes;ยท
  • adequately testing the market, whether by open tender or by seeking quotations, whichever process is applicable;
  • avoiding biased specifications; and
  • treating all potential suppliers consistently, fairly and equitably.

Compliance with ethical standards and observing the Procurement Code of Conduct


Ensuring that all purchasing is undertaken in a fair and unbiased way and requiring suppliers to act ethically and in accordance with appropriate legislation.


This includes -

  • government buyers being fully accountable for the purchasing practices used and the decisions made;
  • ensuring that decisions are not influenced by self interest or personal gain (government buyers must not accept gifts or any other benefits from suppliers);
  • identifying, dealing with and documenting issues relating to actual or perceived conflicts of interest;
  • maintaining confidentiality; and
  • ensuring that all purchasing is undertaken in accordance with government policies.

Agencies must require suppliers to act ethically and in accordance with relevant legislation such as industrial relations legislation and occupational health and safety legislation.

For building and construction / roads and bridges procurement agencies must -

  • require suppliers to comply with the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry, 1997 Edition, the Tasmanian Annexure to the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry and with the Australian Standard Code of Tendering AS 4120-1994 for all procurement valued at $10 000 or more; and
  • ensure that representatives (consultants etc) and agency officers act in accordance with Australian Standard Code of Tendering AS 4120-1994, for all procurement valued at $10 000 or more.

In addition to the above, where the Australian Government provides funding to projects that meet its contribution value thresholds, agencies may be required by the funding arrangement/agreement to conform with the:

  • Building Code 2016; and/or
  • Australian Government building and construction industry WHS Accreditation Scheme.

For more information, see the Ethical Standards and Codes.

Enhancing opportunities for local business


Ensuring that local businesses that wish to do business with the Government are given the opportunity to do so and that the Government's Buy Local Policy requirements are met.

Buyers should:

  • ensure that they plan procurements taking into consideration the impact on local suppliers;
  • actively seek bids from local businesses, particularly from those that have previously requested the opportunity to quote (where local capability exists, two quotes/bids should be sought from Tasmanian businesses); and
  • ensure that agency requirements do not unnecessarily preclude local businesses from bidding or disadvantage local suppliers.

For further information see Buy Local Policy.