The Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) handles complaints associated with the procurement process in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) and the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 (GPJR Act).
The GPJR Act relates to covered procurements as defined by the CPRs. IHACPA’s procurements covered under the GPJR Act relate to the provision of;
- goods and/or services at or above $400,000 (GST incl);
- construction services at or above $7.5 million (GST incl); or
- goods and/or services not included in a class of procurements specified in a determination by the Finance Minister under section 5(2) of the Act.
and not procured under a standing offer or covered by an exemption under the CPRs.
Under the GPJR Act, complaints that affect the supplier’s interest must be made in writing to the relevant entity immediately after becoming aware of the alleged breach of the relevant CPRs. Suppliers, potential suppliers or tenderers of covered procurement can make a complaint. If a complaint is made, IHACPA must investigate the complaint and prepare a report.
In order to comply with the GPJR Act the following steps are provided to assist suppliers in lodging a complaint.
Step 1: Understand your rights under the GPJR Act. If you consider your interest has been affect by the procurement then submit a complaint to IHACPA, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, immediately after becoming aware of the alleged breach of the relevant CPRs.
To assist in resolving the complaint in a timely manner, you should use the Procurement Complaints Form.
Step 2: Once the complaint has been submitted, you will receive acknowledgement that your complaint has been received and whether a public interest certificate is in force (if applicable).
Step 3: Your complaint will be investigated and you will be notified of the outcome.
Step 4: You will then advise IHACPA, in writing, as to whether you consider the complaint has been resolved.
Step 5: If you are not satisfied that the complaint has been resolved, you can make an application to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or the Federal Court of Australia for injunctions or payment of compensation for breaches of the relevant CPRs relating to covered procurements under the Act.
Applications to the court must be made within 10 days of becoming aware of the breach. A longer period may be allowed by the court if it is satisfied that the failure to make the application within this timeframe was attributable to the supplier’s reasonable attempt to resolve the complaint.
It is recommended that you seek independent legal advice before taking this step.
Other avenues to raise complaints, which are separate to the complaint mechanism established by the Act, include the Australian Government Procurement Coordinator and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
For more information about the Act, visit the Department of Finance’s website.
If you need help please contact IHACPA by email email@example.com or by calling +61 2 8215 1100.