VGPB policy provides a process for a tender complaint to be addressed within a given timeframe. Each department retains prime responsibility for tender management and is responsible for final resolution of any related complaint.
Tender complaints are to be initially directed to the project/contract manager within the department and if not resolved at that level, then the matter can be taken up with the APU and thereafter the Accountable Officer for the department.
The Board cannot become involved in a tender complaint unless the tenderer has pursued all avenues with the department concerned and has not been able to arrive at a satisfactory outcome.
The scope of any Board involvement with a complaint does not extend to the contract management period. The resolution of complaints and disputes during this phase is subject to the conditions of contract that could include conciliation, arbitration and legal procedures.
A side letter to the AUSFTA recognises that the Australian judicial system has jurisdiction in relation to any domestic review of supplier challenges.
1. Documented Departmental Procedures
Each APU should document the department’s tender complaints management procedures and include timelines for responding.
2. Evidence of Communication with the Relevant Department
The VGPB will not consider a complaint unless it can be demonstrated that the matter has been dealt with in accordance with the department’s complaints management procedures.
3. Time Limits for the APU to Respond to a Request from the VGPB
The Chairperson of the department's APU is required to notify the VGPB within 15 working days of the date of a request from the VGPB whether the complaint lodged with the Board can/has been resolved or what additional time is required to fully investigate and report on the issues raised.
1. Lodging a Complaint with the VGPB
A complaint from a tenderer must be lodged in writing to:
The Executive Officer
Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Level 8, 120 Collins St,
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Material required from a tenderer to initiate the involvement of the VGPB
- a concise written statement regarding the nature of the complaint;
- evidence that the department’s complaints management processes have been
- a copy of all relevant correspondence with the department in relation to the complaint.
- The Executive Officer will as soon as practicable acknowledge the receipt of the complaint.
- The Executive Officer will review the documentation in relation to the complaint and may seek further information prior to requesting a report on the matter from the Chairperson of the relevant department’s APU.
- The Board will be informed of a complaint being lodged at its next appropriate meeting.
- The Executive Officer will inform the person/organisation lodging the complaint if the matter cannot be resolved within 30 working days of receipt.
- The Board can seek additional advice from other sources to assist in formulating a finding.
- Any additional advice received will be forwarded to the department for consideration and the department’s views will be sought prior to formulating a finding.
- The Board will inform the tenderer and Chair of the department’s APU of the Board’s finding in the matter.
Links to relevant Policy
Related VGPB Policy and DTF Guidelines
Related DTF Templates and Forms
Links to relevant Policy websites
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