Department of Finance

Purchasing methods: what are they and why do they matter?

The Western Australian Government buys goods and services in a number of ways. The nature of a good or service and/or the value of the contract dictate the purchasing method government staff must apply. This flowchart briefly explains what to do in each scenario:

Purchasing methods - Flowchart

Whole-of-government Common Use Arrangements

Goods or services commonly used by government agencies  are procured under Common Use Arrangements (CUAs). Think stationery, computers, fuel, telecommunications, waste or electricity. Under a CUA, suppliers offer goods and services under specified terms and conditions – including price.

Government Procurement (GP) develops and manages 47 CUAs, accounting for over $1billion. These arrangements are valid for a fixed period (often spanning between two and five years), after which they are reviewed and may be re-tendered.

For more information, go to the Whole-of-government Common Use Arrangements web page.

Tendering for agency contracts

Goods or services required by a single agency are procured under agency contracts. Think medical equipment, animal feed, fire trucks, patient transport, grounds maintenance and more.

GP is involved in over $6 billion worth of agency contracts per year. For purchases over $250,000, an agency must undertake a competitive procurement process through an open tender. Open tendering offers accountable, consistent and objective outcomes for Government and suppliers alike.

For more information, go to the Tendering for agency contracts web page.

Quoting or direct purchasing for agency contracts

For goods and services that are not on a CUA and are valued under $250,000, government staff may buy from suppliers they have identified.

For purchases with a value up to $50,000, buyers may purchase directly from suppliers.

For purchases of $50,000 and over, but under $250,000, buyers must request written quotes but don’t have to go to public tender. For more information, go to the Quoting or direct purchasing for agency contracts web page.


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