Essential guide to local government law competitive neutrality for nsw councils – bradley allen love maharashtra electricity e bill payment


Competitive neutrality is about creating a level playing field between in-house and external tenderers in a tender process. gas what i smoke It aims to eliminate resource allocation distortions which can arise when public entities participate in significant business activities [1]. Competitive neutrality principles are therefore relevant when councils are undertaking a tender process and also wish to submit an in-house bid for the service. Applying competitive neutrality principles can encourage participation in a tender process. More competition generally increases the prospect of a council achieving a good value for money outcome and reduces the likelihood of a challenge to the outcome of a tender process. It is also appropriate for councils to consider the principles of competitive neutrality when they use internal cost data as a tender evaluation benchmark to ensure they are comparing like with like.

The Policy Statement sets out the broad requirements of competitive neutrality as they apply to all government businesses at the State and Local level. The Guidelines are intended to assist local councils to decide when to engage in competitive tendering and outline the processes involved generally [3]. The Neutrality Guide is designed to assist Local Councils to apply the requirements contained in the Policy Statement to their business activities. [4] When should a council consider participating in a competitive tender process?

Councils often participate in a competitive tender process to assist them to decide whether to transition from a model of public service provision to private service provision under contract. gas x coupon 2014 The Guidelines list a number of procurement areas in which councils regularly participate in competitive tendering. This includes waste and recycling collection, maintenance of council properties, roadworks and management of public facilities such as swimming pools, caravan parks and libraries. However, this list is not exhaustive. electricity and magnetism physics definition Depending on the in-house capabilities of the council, there may be other services for which it is appropriate that a council participate in a competitive tender process. When is a council required to maintain competitive neutrality?

When determining whether an activity is a business activity the Neutrality Guide requires a council to consider the nature of the activity, whether it is, or is likely to be, subject to competition from other providers and its importance to the council’s customers. Matters which indicate that an activity is not a business activity include where it is a small-scale activity included within a larger function of a council, or where it forms part of a community service function of the council. The Policy Statement identifies activities such as water supply, sewerage services, abattoirs and gas production and reticulation as business activities.

The competitive neutrality obligations which apply to a council will also depend on the income generated (or proposed to be generated) from the business activity which is being tendered for. The Neutrality Guide imposes different obligations depending on whether or not the annual sales turnover/annual gross operating income of the business activity is over or under $2 million. The competitive neutrality obligations imposed on a procurement for a Category 1 business activity ($2 million or over) are greater than those which apply for Category 2 business procurement (under $2 million). For Category 1 business activities it is expected that the benefits of applying competitive neutrality will outweigh the costs of doing so [6]. mp electricity bill payment paschim kshetra For the procurement of a Category 2 business activity a council must still compete on the basis that they do not use their public sector position to gain an unfair advantage in the tender process, but they have flexibility in how they apply the Neutrality Guide. For example, councils have discretion to determine the extent to which the activity is separated from the other operations of the council, and need only adopt a full cost attribution where practicable. [7] For Category 2 business activities, applying the principles of competitive neutrality on this flexible basis may still be helpful to encourage competition and reduce the likelihood of a challenge to a council’s decision to award the contract to any particular tenderer. Implementation of competitive neutrality

The first step is to consider when your council needs a new service, or an existing contract is coming to an end, is whether the Council may wish to participate in the tender process. It is important to identify this early in the process so that the Council can ensure that the in-house business unit is separated from the team running the tender process and that the relevant systems (such as the complaints handling system) are put in place prior to the release of the tender documents

• Separating the operations of the business activity from the general operations of the council. gas leak chicago This does not mean that the council needs to establish a separate legal entity for the business, but the parameters of the business within the council need to be able to be identified. This means there needs to be an accounting and reporting framework for the business which is separate to the other activities of council and, for probity reasons, the council must be able to restrict access to tender material and documents by members of the business unit.Separating the business activity from the general operations of the council will also assist councils to identify and protect access to information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 ( GIPA Act) which could prejudice the competitiveness of the business unit. Section 14 item 4 of the GIPA Act provides that there is a public interest consideration against disclosure of information if disclosure could reasonably be expected to undermine competitive neutrality in connection with any functions of an agency in respect of which it competes with any person, or otherwise places an agency at a competitive advantage or disadvantage in any market.

• Adopting a full cost attribution to the council’s provision of the service. For example, adjusting the price of the good or service in question to make allowance for taxes, the cost of capital, and any other material costs not borne by a government business purely as a result of its public ownership status for the purpose of tender evaluation. This principle is also relevant where councils use internal costing information as a benchmark to inform tender evaluation.