The association for consulting firms in the built environment has released a new policy calling for the Australian government to lead by example, by serving taxpayer’s dollars and capitalising on the building boom across major cities.
The proposed ‘Model Client Policy’ by Consult Australia is a series of principals to ensure governments behave ethically, and fairly, with their dealings with suppliers. The policy emulates existing litigant policies in place with aims to demonstrate how such a policy can be introduced (this excludes Western Australia and South Australia).
Consult Australia is the current industry association which represents consulting firms in the build and natural environment sectors.
“We hear a lot about industry muscle, but the government has muscle too, through its size, stability and tremendous purchasing power. This is particularly true at the moment, as many governments are investing heavily in infrastructure. Yet with great power comes great responsibility, and [our] governments need to lead by example,” voiced Megan Motto, Chief Executive of Consult Australia.
Among the documented 14 proposed principles within the ‘Model Client Policy,’ the document covers issues such as fairness and risk allocation, open communications between government and organisations, on-time payments, project prioritisation and similar pressing issues. Essentially Consult Australia is pushing for a collaboration with the industry to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome, rather than using purchasing power to ‘disadvantage local businesses and their employees’.
“It is more important than ever that government and industry work collaboratively together. If not, it can have a devastating impact, particularly on small firms, leading to cashflow issues or simply some of our best and brightest have little choice but to walk away from work they could be doing to make our cities better,” Motto said.
The policy builds on the report released by Consult Australia in 2015 ‘The Economic Benefits of Better Procurement’ which emphasised that taxpayers could save up to 5.4 per cent on the cost of development projects if the government and industry worked in proximity.
“If governments adopt the Model Client Policy, then ultimately it will be the taxpayer who benefits through the quantity and quality of response to tenders,” concluded Motto.