News & Views

Buying into our Future: Parliamentary Committee recommends new human rights and environmental considerations for Commonwealth Procurement Rules

The Australian Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Government Procurement was established in December 2016 to inquire into and report on the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs). The Committee has now released its recommendations including the incorporation of additional human rights and environmental considerations into the CPRs.

In particular, the Committee’s recommendations included the following:

  • Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that the Attorney-General’s Department oversee the introduction and application of a procurement connected policy requiring Commonwealth agencies to evaluate suppliers’ compliance with human rights regulation.
  • Recommendation 3: The Committee recommends that the Department of Environment oversee the introduction and application of a procurement connected policy requiring Commonwealth agencies to evaluate the whole-of-life environmental sustainability of goods and services to be procured.

The report noted widespread agreement that the CPRs should be aligned with and mirror the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

The report also notes that “[a]dditional procurement connected policies are needed to provide guidance for environmental sustainability and human rights. These guidelines and policies should be supplemented with a public service wide training program.”

The full Committee report is available here.