Policy Directory


Date first approved:

22 October 1999

Date of effect:

22 October 1999

Date last amended:

21 April 2017

Date of Next Review:

21 April 2020

Approved by

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address

Director Financial Operations



Procurement Manager

Division & Unit

Financial Services Division

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy

Conflict of Interest Declaration

New Supplier Form

Petty Cash Procedure

Life Cycle Costing Procedure

Relevant Legislation
External Documents

Delegations of Authority Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

Asset Disposal Policy

Corporate Credit Card Policy

Risk Management Policy

Environmental Policy

University Code of Conduct

Travel and Entertainment Policy

Records Management Policy

WHS Purchasing Guidelines

Contractor Safety Guidelines


Public – accessible to anyone

Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.


1 Purpose of Policy

  • 1. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that financial probity is assured by prescribing a range of appropriate methods for purchasing and procurement, including, where appropriate, a competitive tendering and contracting (CTC) process.
  • 2. Purchasing, tendering and contract letting are substantially devolved activities. This carries the risk of different practices operating at different standards creating exposure to liabilities caused by poor control over procurement and purchasing standards. This policy provides a framework that is practical for such a devolved environment.
  • 3. As a consequence of adhering to this policy, the University shall:
        • a. obtain the best value for its purchases, in both cost and quality
        • b. have a fast and efficient purchasing process; demonstrate financial probity and accountability to its clients, stakeholders and the public interest
        • c. successfully manage and prevent the potential for conflicts of interest
        • d. utilise a transparent CTC process where chosen
        • e. monitor and evaluate performance in purchasing and procurement
        • f. be protected from complaints and legal actions mounted by potential suppliers who believe they have not received fair treatment

2 Definitions


Definition (with examples if required)

Best and Final Offer

In the context of this policy, and particularly Competitive Contracting and Tendering processes (CTC, see below), the term “best and final offer” refers to final negotiations with the selected supplier(s) to extract the best terms.

Close Personal Friend

Is intended to refer to intimate and/or close personal and social relationships that are, or have been established between University employees and individuals external to the University. It does not refer to professional working relationships that may be established with personnel internal, or external, to the University.

Competitive Contracting and Tendering (CTC) processes

Refers to the continuum of market-testing processes including Expressions of Interest (EOI), Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Tender (RFT). Competitive Tendering and Contracting in this policy is understood to be the process of selecting a preferred supplier from a range of potential suppliers after inviting proposals and evaluating the proposals against specific selection criteria.


Refers to the procurement of external consultants or consultancy services to the University. Consultancy does not refer to the provision of services from the University to external organisations or to the exchange of services within the University.

Government Contract

A State or Federal contract for goods or services where a competitive contracting and tendering process has already been undertaken.

Life cycle costing

The terms “total cost of ownership” and “life cycle costing” refer to the ongoing, as well as initial, cost(s) of the purchase, e.g. the cost of installation, building and service modifications, maintenance, warranty, support, refills and complementary product, compatibility with other equipment and the cost of disposal.

Preferred supplier

A preferred supplier is one that has been selected by the University, following a market-testing process, and offers significant benefits to the University.

Product stewardship

Refers to the service that a supplier may provide in disposing of the goods after they have served their useful life.

Purchasing Officer

For the purpose of this policy the term Purchasing Officer refers to any staff member sourcing the goods or services and raising a requisition, an order or a payment to purchase goods and services.


Fundamentally, risk shall be understood to mean the extent to which the University is unable to meet the policy purposes, outcomes and principles intended, as outlined in sections 1 and 4, as a consequence of an inappropriate choice of procurement process.

Standing contract

In the context of this policy the term standing contract refers to a contractual agreement with a supplier. Usually these contracts are for a specific duration and/or a specific value.

Total cost of ownership

The terms ”total cost of ownership” and “life cycle costing” refer to the ongoing, as well as initial, cost(s) of the purchase, e.g. the cost of maintenance, warranty, support, refills and complementary products, compatibility with other equipment and the cost of disposal.

3 Application & Scope

  • 1. This policy shall apply to all University of Wollongong (UOW) entities.
  • 2. This policy does not apply to the sale or disposal of University property, assets or services. The disposal of goods, property and assets is covered by a separate policy on the disposal of assets: Refer to the Asset Disposal Policy.

4 Policy Principles

  • 1. The following principles shall govern procurement policy and practice, these are:
        • a. Economic principles;
        • b. Ethical principles; and
        • c. Environmentally conscientious principles.

Economic Principles

  • 2. Any individual engaged in purchasing and procurement on behalf of the University shall seek best value for money. The term “value” is not limited to the monetary cost of the supply but shall also take into account a range of factors such as quality and service.
  • 3. Any staff member engaged in purchasing shall be mindful of the following aims:
        • a. to conserve funds through cost reductions without sacrificing quality;
        • b. to minimise total cost of ownership (see Definitions);
        • c. to reduce overheads; and
        • d. to reduce transaction volumes and streamline processes.
  • 4. The following factors shall be taken into account when considering “value”:
        • a. the suitability and compliance of the goods/services being procured;
        • b. the service history of the supplier;
        • c. the associated delivery and operating costs; and
        • d. the cost of disposal.
  • 5. Staff members shall consider life cycle costing, i.e. the cost of the item over the life cycle of its use (Appendix 3).
        • a. Life cycle costing shall be carried out on all significant equipment purchases
        • b. All considerations to life costing shall be carried out prior to placing an order
  • 6. Leasing: Where appropriate, staff members shall perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether outright purchase or lease is the best option.

Ethical Principles

  • 7. There shall be an audit trail for all purchases that allows for transparency of decisions and review of purchasing practice. The conduct of procurement is subject to continuous auditing by the University and by external bodies such as the Audit Office of New South Wales and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
  • 8. Staff members shall ensure that they are not, or are not perceived to be, in a conflict of interest with any supplier (refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy). Those staff members who have, or may be perceived to have, a vested interest in the outcome of a purchase should disclose any conflict to their supervisor and discuss whether they should exclude themselves from any role in the purchase process.
  • 9. Staff shall be suitably skilled and qualified to attend to the completion of their purchasing and contracting role(s).
  • 10. Goods and services that are purchased with University funding shall be used for University purposes and not for private purposes.
  • 11. Open and effective competition shall be encouraged and observed ensuring equitable access to all suppliers.
  • 12. Staff members shall ensure probity, transparency, fairness and accountability in all stages of the purchasing process.
  • 13. All pertinent data relevant to a purchase shall be recorded and accounted for in compliance with records management legislation.
  • 14. Staff members shall show regard for preferred suppliers and existing contracts.
  • 15. Conflict of Interest:
        • a. Staff members engaging in purchasing shall ensure that they are familiar with, and comply with, the Conflict of Interest Policy
        • b. Staff members engaging in procurement shall disclose any personal or business relationship as described in the Conflict of Interest Policy. Goods / services may only be purchased from an individual or a company where a potential for conflict of interest exists after securing the prior written approval of the Head, Dean or Director
        • c. Staff members shall not authorise payment to a person or organisation in which they have a material interest without prior written approval of the appropriate Head, Dean or Director
        • d. All conflicts of interest shall be advised to the staff member’s supervisor as soon as they arise
        • e. Any gifts or hospitality received in relation to the purchase of goods and services shall only be accepted in accordance with the University Code of Conduct.

Environmentally Conscientious Principles

  • 16. Environmentally conscientious principles shall be considered alongside economic and ethical principles. Consideration shall be given to:
        • a. The procurement of products containing materials produced in a sustainable manner and/or reconditioned or recycled components.
        • b. Use of suppliers that offer product stewardship, (e.g. suppliers that take back products at the end of their life, suppliers that provide a recyclable packing system).
        • c. Preference for goods that are more energy-efficient and cause less impact on the environment.
        • d. Preference should be given to those suppliers that minimise their energy consumption and adverse environmental impact. Suppliers may have a certified environmental management system, e.g. ISO14001 accreditation.

5 Methods of Procurement

  • 1. The University uses a purchasing system called Basware for creating Purchase Orders and Payments. This system is the preferred method of ordering, except in those situations where it is deemed that petty cash or credit card is a more appropriate and cost effective method of purchasing.
  • 2. Goods or services shall be acquired through one of the following options. Refer to the flowchart at Appendix1 to determine the most appropriate method of purchase:
        • a. Direct purchase from a company/supplier using cash, credit card or Basware purchase order;
        • b. Direct purchase from a company/supplier pursuant to a standing contract;
        • c. Written quotations;
        • d. Call for Expressions of Interest (notify the Procurement Manager);
        • e. Request for Proposal (notify the Procurement Manager);
        • f. Request for Tender (notify the Procurement Manager).
  • 3. In deciding the most appropriate method of procurement, Units shall consider three factors:
        • a. The level of risk that the procurement process poses. Fundamentally, risk shall be understood to mean the extent to which the University is unable to meet the policy purposes and outcomes as outlined in sections 1 and 4 as a consequence of an inappropriate choice of procurement process;
        • b. The value of the proposed purchase;
        • c. The possibility of achieving better value and quality by testing the market competitively.

Credit cards

  • 4. Credit cards are a low-cost and efficient means of purchasing but are not intended as a substitute for the Basware system.
  • 5. Examples of appropriate credit card use include the purchase of:
        • a. low value / low risk materials and consumables;
        • b. travel related expenses, e.g. accommodation, flights, hire cars, meals;
        • c. petrol for hire cars;
        • d. subscription renewals;
        • e. conference registration fees;
        • f. goods or services where immediate payment is required;
        • g. purchases over the internet.


  • 6. PayPal is a method of payment that permits a credit card to be attached to the PayPal account. Purchases on PayPal in this regard are effectively treated as a purchase on a credit card.
  • 7. The University does not maintain a central PayPal account for general use.
  • 8. PayPal, like credit card purchases, should only be used where other procurement methods are not appropriate.
  • 9. Where payment by PayPal is required the PayPal account must be set up in the name of the officer responsible for the University credit card attached to the PayPal account.
  • 10. The PayPal account must be set up with the University officer’s official university email address and not a personal address.
  • 11. As the PayPal account will be attached to a University credit card the use of the account is subject to the same terms and conditions and policy parameters as normal use of a corporate credit card.
  • 12. PayPal purchases using corporate credit cards are monitored by Financial Services on a monthly basis.

eBay Purchases

  • 13. All purchases using eBay require the prior approval of the Procurement Manager.
  • 14. The University does not maintain a corporate eBay purchase account.
  • 15. Any purchases on eBay will require an account and a University corporate credit attached to that account. The eBay account must be set up in the name of the University officer responsible for the credit card. No eBay account will have University bank details attached to the account.
  • 16. In determining whether eBay is an appropriate source of supply, the Procurement Manager shall consider factors such as price, insurance, freight, warranty, after sales support, seller’s location, alternative suppliers and any other relevant factors.

Petty cash

  • 17. Petty cash shall only be used for small value purchases where it is not appropriate to use either Basware or a Corporate Credit Card. Staff members should refer to the Petty Cash Procedures for further guidance.

Direct Purchase

  • 18. Goods/services of low risk, costing less than $5,000 shall be purchased to best advantage without formal written quotations subject to the following conditions:
        • a. rates being considered reasonable and consistent with normal market rates for items of a like nature; and,
        • b. requirements not being split into components (or a succession of orders for the same goods or service) for the purpose of enabling the goods or service to be obtained under the $5,000 limit.

Direct purchase under a standing contract

  • 19. Standing contracts shall be used to allocate all or most work of a given type to a dedicated provider for a fixed period, usually two to three years. This usually occurs where the good or service is repeatedly or regularly used and often incorporates bulk discounts for volume and streamlined payment arrangements. The renewal of any standing contract shall be re-considered at the end of the contract period.
  • 20. For regularly used goods, a standing contract for supply may already exist. It is inefficient to let a new contract where one already exists unless there are significant savings to be gained. Units should check for the existence of such contracts when purchasing a type of item for the first time.
  • 21. All staff members are encouraged to use University-preferred suppliers in the first instance. If a staff member decides to purchase goods and services from a supplier other than a University preferred supplier, they are required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the University’s Procurement Manager that either:
        • a. the alternate supplier can provide the goods or services at a significantly lower cost than the University preferred supplier (written quote required); or
        • b. the goods or services available from the University preferred supplier are not fit for the purpose required (the decision shall be supported by evidence).

Direct purchase under Government contract:

  • 22. Where purchases are made under a State Government contract, quotes are not compulsory. However, for comparison purposes it is advisable to obtain alternative quotations. Pricing for the goods or services must be verified against the State contract price list.
  • 23. Where the goods or services are not listed on the State Government contract, quotes must be obtained in accordance with the requirements of this policy.

Non-order payments

  • 24. Staff members are discouraged from making non-order payments without prior approval. The University is not obliged to pay suppliers where a purchase order or prior approval has not been raised.
  • 25. Non-order payments should only be used in instances where a corporate credit card or purchase order is not practical, and the goods or services are of low value and there is no inherit risk due to safety or supply requirements. Non-order payments should be used for payments of regular services such as utilities (electricity, water, phone, etc.).
  • 26. Where a non-order purchase needs to be made, a manual invoice entry must be processed using the Basware system immediately after the purchase/receipt of invoice.

Written quotation

  • 27. For purchases greater than $5,000 but less than $20,000, where practical at least three written quotations should be obtained subject to the following conditions:
        • a. rates being considered reasonable and consistent with normal market rates for items of a like nature; and
        • b. requirements not being split into components or a succession of orders, for the same goods or services for the purpose of enabling the goods/service to be obtained under the $20,000 limit.
  • 28. For purchases greater than $20,000 but less than $100,000, a minimum of three written quotes shall be obtained and shall be based on a written outline of specifications which has been provided to the suppliers.
  • 29. Three written quotations do not have to be obtained where the goods or services are proprietary (held under patent, trademark or copyright), or are only obtainable from fewer than three suppliers.
  • 30. For purchases that are considered medium to high risk and/or over $100,000, consideration shall be given to undertaking a Competitive Tendering and Contracting (CTC) process. This shall include documentation of a written brief or an outline of specifications for the purchase.

Expressions of Interest /Request for Proposals (Competitive Tendering and Contracting) Procedures

  • 31. Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) consist of procedures that are intermediate between obtaining written quotations and seeking tenders. EOI and RFP are generally used to cull an initial field of probable competitors who can provide innovative solutions to leading-edge or emerging issues within a given industry (e.g. a creative or technological solution).
  • 32. In the case of RFP or EOI, a detailed overview of the product or service concept that is required is prepared and forwarded, usually with a covering letter, to a number of identified suppliers who are invited to submit written proposals. RFP and EOI can be announced in a variety of advertising mediums to achieve greatest exposure to potential contractors and tenderers. Unlike tenders, in this model the University is subsequently able to negotiate variations to the specification with a preferred supplier.
  • 33. Requests for Proposals and Expressions of Interest shall be used for medium to high risk purchases.

Requests for Tendering (RFT) (Competitive Tendering and Contracting)

  • 34. For all high risk purchases over $100,000, Units should use an RFT process unless a case can be made to the approving officer that there is no more than one single provider available or that the risk is so low that an alternative procurement process could be adopted. Exemptions to this requirement shall be sought in writing, with a detailed explanation to the Procurement Manager.
  • 35. The details of procedures to be followed for Competitive Tendering and Contracting are set out in the Tender Procedure.
  • 36. All purchase orders, non-order payments and contracts are to be approved in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy.

6 Use of Personal Funds to Buy Goods and Services

  • 1. The University discourages the use of personal funds to buy goods and services for work, study and research purposes. Staff members, and other individuals who have recourse to University funds, may only use personal funds to buy goods and services if it can be shown that there is no alternative method of purchase, e.g. Basware or corporate credit card.
  • 2. Staff members and other individuals using personal funds to purchase goods and services for University business shall first seek approval from the appropriate delegated officer before making the purchase. If prior approval is not given, the University is not obligated to reimburse the claimant.
  • 3. Travel expenses such as air fares and accommodation shall be arranged through the preferred travel supplier (refer to the Travel and Entertainment Policy) and shall be booked and paid for using either the Basware system or corporate credit card. Other incidental expenses shall be purchased in accordance with the Travel and Entertainment Policy.
  • 4. The purchase of equipment, consumables and other work-related items shall be made using the Basware system, unless a valid reason can be given for an alternative method of purchase.
  • 5. In the event that use of personal funds cannot be avoided, notwithstanding Point 1 above, reimbursements to staff members and other individuals shall be claimed within two months of the date of the expense, and claims shall not be stockpiled for bulk reimbursement.

7 Use of Corporate Credit Cards

  • 1. Corporate Credit Card holders shall adhere to the Corporate Credit Card Policy available on the Intranet.
  • 2. Purchase order is the preferred method of procurement, however, Corporate Credit Card may be used in appropriate circumstances, e.g. travel, meals when travelling on University business, low value/low risk goods, and to pay for goods and services where immediate payment is required at the point of sale.
  • 3. Where a Corporate Credit Card is used to purchase goods and services that should have been ordered using the Basware system, the person incurring the expense may be asked to substantiate the reason for the choice of purchase method.
  • 4. Corporate Credit Card purchases over the internet are acceptable for services such as subscriptions, memberships, licenses and conferences, subject to approval in accordance with the manual of delegations. Other internet purchase requests must be referred to the Procurement Manager for approval, where the following will be taken into consideration:
        • a. The type of purchase
        • b. The value
        • c. The risk
        • d. Warranty requirements
        • e. Total cost of transaction e.g. insurance, freight
  • 5. The Corporate Credit Card shall not be used for cash advances or to purchase assets without prior approval from the Procurement Manager.
  • 6. Controlled Practices in accordance with this policy apply to the use of credit cards.

8 Preferred Suppliers

  • 1. The University has a list of preferred suppliers for the provision of certain goods and services; the Preferred Supplier list is located on the Financial Services intranet site. Where there is a requirement for goods and/or services to be procured from an alternative supplier, the staff member shall substantiate the reason for the decision. Documented evidence, such as a substantially cheaper quote or details of better service provided, shall be attached to the purchase order within Basware or within the University Records Management System.

9 Addition of New Suppliers

Establishment of a new Preferred Supplier

  • 1. Where a unit identifies a need for the establishment of a standing agreement with a preferred supplier, the unit should contact the Procurement Manager, Financial Services, requesting consideration to establish such an agreement and to seek confirmation that a preferred supplier arrangement does not already exist for the specific goods and services required.
  • 2. The method of selection for a new preferred supplier shall be through either Expressions of Interest (EOI), Request for Tender (RFT) or quotations. In deciding the most appropriate method of procurement, units shall have regard to the factors identified in Section 5 above.
  • 3. Long standing suppliers of goods and services to the University maybe considered for preferred supplier status given the supply history, and approval by the Procurement Manager.
  • 4. A standing agreement shall include the following terms and conditions:
        • a. The preferred supplier shall provide the University with a specified minimum discount for all goods or services purchased;
        • b. Preferential terms of trade, such as net 40 days on a single consolidated invoice and where appropriate the ability to receive orders and send invoices in electronic format;
        • c. Payment via Electronic Funds Transfer;
        • d. Value for money provisions such as the ability to return faulty goods or services, appropriate warranty terms and the provision of adequate service or repair backup.
  • 5. All proposed contracts with preferred suppliers shall be reviewed and approved by the University’s Legal Counsel and/or Procurement Manager, prior to execution of the same.

Addition of New Suppliers for one-off purchases

  • 6. New suppliers may be added to the University Supplier Address Book by submitting to Financial Services a completed New Supplier Form for approval.
  • 7. In granting approval for such a request, the following factors shall be considered:
        • a. The availability of the goods or services from a University preferred supplier or other existing supplier;
        • b. The specific purpose for which the goods or services are required.
  • 8. Under no circumstances shall orders be placed with a supplier prior to the establishment of the supplier in the University’s Supplier Address Book. The University accepts no liability for orders placed in such circumstances.

10 Engaging Consultants & Contractors

  • 1. When engaging a consultant or contractor, staff members shall:
        • a. Comply with this policy;
        • b. Clearly determine the nature of the services required and justify the requirement;
        • c. Have the proposal to engage a consultant or contractor approved in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy;
        • d. If applicable, invite and evaluate quotes from suitable providers; and
        • e. Implement an appropriate contract or agreement.
  • 2. Where it is likely that there will be a recurring need for consulting or contract services, staff members shall consider the merits of establishing a panel of suitable providers, or a strategic partnership with a preferred provider.
  • 3. Notwithstanding the previous point, to ensure fairness, transparency and probity, where a strategic relationship with a single or multiple provider/s is established, the arrangement / agreement shall be subject to review on a regular basis, preferably every one to two years during the term. Reviews should also take place prior to extending or renewing the arrangement.
  • 4. A record of the review must be maintained with contract where possible, this can be in the form of a file note, minutes or other written communication.
  • 5. All persons engaged in the sourcing of consulting or contractor services shall comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy and complete the Conflict of Interest Declaration form.
  • 6. Where a consultant is engaged to make recommendations on a course of action that will result in the subsequent procurement of goods or services from a supplier, the consultant shall comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy and complete the Conflict of Interest Declaration form.

11 Electronic Transactions

  • 1. As far as is feasible, Units are encouraged to utilise electronic commerce for the transacting of their financial business. In addition to being efficient, electronic transactions provide good audit trails and suppliers can expect reduced turn-around time in the processing of invoices when electronic transactions are the norm.
  • 2. Units shall strive to place increasing responsibility on suppliers to consolidate invoices for several services into one invoice. The consolidated invoice shall also detail particulars of what goods/services have been supplied, when and to whom.
  • 3. Units shall make the most use of available information technology to establish a profile of regular purchases in an effort to consolidate a list of potential suppliers of these same goods and services.

12 Trading Assets

  • 1. The trading of assets is also an issue to be addressed in providing for "best value" processes; monetary costs may not be the only measure of 'value', staff need to consider the value of any benefit (e.g. association with the University) that the University 'confers' via its association, membership, etc.

13 Prohibited Practices

  • 1. Multiple orders, each within verbal quotation limits, which collectively amount to a substantial figure or contract, are not permissible. This is considered to be “order splitting”. Units shall forecast their needs for given services/goods and plan accordingly. Should repeat orders be required that amount to a substantial figure, a properly advertised Competitive Tendering and Contracting process shall be required.
  • 2. The purchase of goods and services from relatives, business associates or close personal friends is prohibited without the prior approval of the Executive Dean, Head or Director. Refer to section regarding conflict of interest.

14 Controlled Practices

  • 1. Certain kinds of purchases have prescribed controls, as follows:
        • a. Units seeking work or tenders related to building works and maintenance, including reticulated services and landscape structures, shall have approval clearance from the Director, Facilities Management.
        • b. Staff recruitment, advertising and use of recruitment agencies shall be pursued via the Manager, Recruitment Services.
        • c. Information technology related purchases shall be directed to BUY IT or must be approved by the Director, Information Management & Technology Services. This includes hardware, software, peripherals, mobile devices and any other equipment that may connect to the university network or connect to equipment that is connected to the network.
        • d. Externally Hosted IT Services must be reviewed and approved by the Procurement Assets and Contracts Manager IMTS, and may require review by Legal Services Unit.
        • e. In certain cases, the University establishes standing contracts on an exclusive basis (i.e. where the chosen supplier shall be used) or on a preferred basis. There are policy controls on the use of alternative suppliers and a case shall be made to the relevant authority for circumventing standing or preferred suppliers.
        • f. With respect to some types of activities, the University requires that the service be provided in-house, e.g. payroll.
        • g. Acquisition of goods and services via a leasing agreement shall comply with the conditions of this policy.
        • h. Purchases on eBay (refer relevant clause within this policy).

15 Prepayment of purchase orders

  • 1. Prepayment of purchase orders is discouraged and shall only occur when a supplier insists on prepayment, and an alternative suitable supplier cannot be found. In these situations staff members are encouraged to offer partial payment upfront, e.g. 10% with the order and 90% on delivery, or other such compromise. Staff members shall assess the possible risk to the University before paying for goods and services in advance.
  • 2. In certain situations a letter of credit may be arranged. This provides the supplier with a level of guarantee that the payment will be released promptly on receipt of the goods and/or service to an acceptable standard.

16 Records Management

  • 1. All transactions that take place in the course of procuring an item or a service shall be fully documented in accordance with the principles of full and accurate recordkeeping as outlined in the University’s Recordkeeping Policy. Staff members shall use Basware and/or the University Records Management System to ensure compliance.

17 Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • 1. GST is applied to most non-essential goods and services, and the University is required to pay GST where-ever it is charged.
  • 2. When using the Basware system or transacting business via other methods, the appropriate GST code shall be recorded to ensure that the University can claim “input tax credits”. Further advice regarding GST and its implications can be found on the Financial Services web page.

18 Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and Payroll Tax (PRT)

  • 1. When purchasing goods and services that are intended as benefits to staff (e.g. lunch, dinner or a Christmas Party), it is worth remembering that FBT charged on the purchase is approximately equivalent to the original cost of the purchase, and this tax is debited from the account incurring the expense.
  • 2. Payroll tax also applies to goods and services that attract FBT; this tax is also debited from the account incurring the expense.
  • 3. Measures can be taken to reduce the amount of FBT and PRT incurred and further advice can be obtained from Financial Services.

19 Roles & Responsibilities

  • 1. The purchase of goods and services is the responsibility of individual units and faculties.
  • 2. Responsibilities of the Purchasing Officer (see Definitions) include:
        • a. Assessing whether a preferred supplier is in place;
        • b. Obtaining additional information required for decision-making, and/or, for providing a specification to a supplier;
        • c. Obtaining additional information with regard to the conditions of the contract, confirmation of price and availability of goods/services;
        • d. Selection of supplier;
        • e. Application of probity, transparency and fairness.
  • 3. By approving the purchase order, non-order payment or contract, the approver is certifying that the transaction complies with all relevant financial policies and procedures, and that the Purchasing Officer has carried out duties in compliance with policy.
  • 4. The Purchasing Officer shall justify the decision based on evaluation criteria such as value for money, availability, urgency, quality and service.
  • 5. Where a decision is made to purchase goods or services from a supplier other than a preferred supplier, the Purchasing Officer must be able to provide upon request documentation supporting the decision (for example, quotes).
  • 6. Hard copy information shall be scanned and stored in the document management system. Staff members shall bring to the attention of the Procurement Manager potential for the supply of goods and services that may be suitable for contract or panel supply arrangements, specifically high volume, high value goods/services that are purchased on a regular basis and might also be purchased by other faculties and divisions.
  • 7. Units shall conform to the conditions of this policy and undertake an appropriate method of procurement for each business transaction.
  • 8. The purchase of goods and services shall be done within the scope of the Delegations of Authority Policy.
  • 9. Units shall incorporate market testing and contracting reviews for expensive items as part of their normal business planning and operational activities (see Appendix 1 for purchase cost benchmarks to assist in the determination of which purchase method to use).
  • 10. Units do not necessarily need to seek competitive tenders to meet market testing requirements. This policy seeks to ensure best value for money, but cannot prescribe a process for every particular instance. The most appropriate means shall be determined after informed assessment which may involve:
        • a. Understanding the costs of activities and the levels of performance being achieved.
        • b. Benchmarking performance and processes against other comparable organisations and alternative providers, where applicable.
        • c. Collaborating with other agencies in common service delivery arrangements, and, inviting competitive bids for the provision of suitable activities where internal efforts have not realised substantial improvements in efficiency or quality of service.
  • 11. Units shall comply with the principles set out in sections 1 and 4.
  • 12. Units shall ensure that all purchases comply with relevant Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) requirements as outlined in the WHS Purchasing Guidelines and Contractor Safety Guidelines. If there is any doubt over the safety of an item proposed for purchase, technical advice shall be sought from the University’s WHS Unit. Requisitioners and approvers shall ensure that WHS requirements have been considered and noted, as required, in the Basware system. Units are eligible to establish more stringent procedures than are contained within this policy, but this policy shall serve as the base standard for all Units.
  • 13. When purchasing goods and services that carry some level of risk; and in other situations where applicable, the Purchasing Officer shall specify the Australian quality standard that applies to the good or service being procured.
  • 14. The purchasing officer shall confirm that sufficient funds exist to pay for the goods and services being purchased. If sufficient funds do not exist in the designated account, the purchase may be charged to an alternative account.
  • 15. Units shall note that the University’s standard terms of trade are for payment to be made 30 days from the invoice date. Staff members shall not commit purchases to suppliers that are not prepared to accept these terms unless this has been approved by the University’s Finance Manager or the Director, Financial Operations.
  • 16. Before placing orders of significant value (> $10,000) and especially where some pre-payment is required, staff members shall take steps to obtain a guarantee or warranty from the supplier covering the following issues/contingencies:
        • a. Faulty goods/services
        • b. Terms for late or non-delivery
        • c. Loss or damage in transit
        • d. Failure to meet contractual obligations
        • e. Failure to meet specifications.

Financial investigation of a supplier

  • 17. Between the quotation or tender stage and the purchase order stage, the Procurement Manager may arrange for a financial check of the supplier, particularly if the supply is being sourced from an overseas supplier and there is reason to believe it would be difficult to recover prepaid money or contracted goods or services.

Receipt, inspection and acquittal of goods

  • 18. The person initiating the requisition shall confirm that the goods have been received in good working order and/or that the service provided was of a satisfactory standard.
  • 19. Basware purchase orders shall be receipted in the Basware system in order to expedite payment.
  • 20. When signing for receipt of goods the receiver shall annotate the packing slip and carrier’s receipt with a suitable comment such as “subject to check” or “subject to inspection” where deemed to be required.
  • 21. The party responsible for delivery shall be responsible for loss or accidental damage in transit and shall be insured accordingly. The supplier shall ensure the goods are received in good working order at the final destination and that an appropriate method of delivery has been used.
  • 22. Where necessary, agreed delivery terms should be specified on the purchase order and also agreed delivery charges.

Dangerous goods

  • 23. The purchase, delivery, storage, distribution and use of dangerous goods should be controlled as prescribed in the WHS guidelines.

Poor supplier performance

  • 24. Poor performance on the part of the supplier should be communicated to the Procurement Manager in Financial Services.

Freight and insurance charges

  • 25. Freight and insurance charges shall be agreed before the purchase order is issued. In most cases the supplier is responsible for insurance whilst in transit and freight charges to the port or airport of destination. The purchaser is responsible for customs clearance and local freight.

Asset purchases

  • 26. Refer to the Asset Management Policy on the Financial Services web site.
  • 27. Equipment purchases over $5,000 and valuable items costing between $500 and $5,000 (as defined in the Asset Management Policy) shall be registered as assets and recorded on the fixed asset register.

Foreign currency

  • 28. Purchases and payments that are required to be made in a foreign currency shall be processed by the Accounts Payable Team in Financial Services.

Government contracts

  • 29. The NSW Government has a comprehensive list of contracts with various suppliers. Where a pre-existing UOW preferred supplier contract does not exist, staff members should refer to the catalogue of suppliers on the staff intranet: https://intranet.uow.edu.au/finance/purchasing/UOW032610.html and should take advantage of the government contracts listed on the site where advantageous to the University. State contract details shall be noted on the purchase order.

20 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



22 October 1999

University Council

First Version


29 May 2007

Administrative Committee

New policy. Changes due to introduction of eProcurement


October 2007

Deputy Vice-Principal (Finance & IT)

Minor changes to include audit recommendations


6 May 2009

Vice Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Policy Template as per Policy Directory Refresh


27 October 2009

Deputy Vice-Principal (Finance & IT)

Separate the Tender documentation from the Policy and create a Tender Procedure. Minor changes to include Life Cycle Costing information


1 March 2011

Snr Mgr, Policy & Governance

Amended broken links, updated to reflect University Code of Conduct name change.


16 January 2012

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect change of name from Buildings and Grounds to Facilities Management Division.


November 2012

Administration Committee

Updated for PayPal and eBay and other minor amendments


December 2012


Approved update


23 Jan 2013

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect change from OHS to WHS.


4 March 2013

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect change from Associate director, Financial Services, to Director Financial Operations


11 September 2013

Chief Administrative Officer

Updated to reflect title change from VP(A) to CAO.


6 October 2015


Amendments to Section 5 (34) and Section 14 (c)


21 April 2017


Updated to reflect new systems and associated functionality.

Appendix 1: How to Select the Best Procurement Method


Appendix 2: Determining and Managing Risk

The process of risk management can be understood to have 6 iterative steps. The main elements are as follows:

Step 1 - Identify and acknowledge the context in which the process of risk while purchasing or procuring goods and services occurs:

Strategic Context

  • 1. This is the relationship between the University and the broader environment and includes the financial, operational, competitive, political (public perceptions/image), social, cultural and legal aspects of the University’s functions.
  • 2. The University as a public office of the government shall pursue and shall be seen to be pursuing the best possible competitive value for its consumption of goods and services.

Organizational Context

  • 3. The process of determining risk at this level asks to what extent the practice of purchasing for goods and services complies with (or not) the wider goals, objectives and strategies of the University.
  • 4. What would be the outcome for failure to achieve the objectives of the University (specifically as set in this policy)?
  • 5. This policy defines the definitive framework and to a lesser extent, the explicit criteria by which it should be decided whether a risk for assuming a particular purchasing approach should be taken. (e.g. at times staff are guided by specific dollar amounts in their decision on whether to seek a verbal, written quote or are required to consider specific points in the acquisition of goods/services [WHS for instance]; yet where judgment shall be exercised outside of these parameters staff are guided by the principles of the policy).

Risk Management Context

  • 6. The goals, objectives, strategies, scope and parameters of the purchasing and procurement activity and the Unit to which the risk management process is being applied should be established. This shall involve setting scope and boundaries to the risk management process:
        • a. Defining the end project, goal and activity and establishing its goals and objectives. Consider what is the item, or service to be acquired? What are the specifications for the acquisition and are they all known? Is there a possibility that an alternative means of purchasing the item or service would result in a better fit with the original project goals, activities, and objectives?
        • b. What is the extent of the project (end goal, activity) in time and location? Is it best served by the selected procurement method?
        • c. Would the acquisition process be better served by additional research, studies, background information? What are the objectives, and the scope for additional study?

Step 2 - Risk Identification

  • 1. Using the Risk Identification and Analysis matrix, this step seeks to determine what can happen, why and how in the purchasing/procurement process.
  • 2. Additional thought should be given to compliment the example provided in this Appendix and to meet the needs, specifications, considerations and circumstances of the purchasing Unit in question. Consider what can happen by pursuing a given approach, how and why it can happen and ultimately pursue one approach for the purchase, or procurement based on later analysis.
  • 3. Tools or techniques at this stage can include checklists, judgments based on experience, brainstorming, systems or scenario analysis, etc.

Step 3 - Risk Analysis

  • 1. This is the systematic use of available information to determine how often specified events may occur, and the consequences of a particular risk.
  • 2. The purpose here is to distinguish minor versus major risks, and to provide information to assist in the assessment and treatment of risks. The likelihood of events occurring and the magnitude of their consequences are combined to produce a level of risk. Here, the best available information should be brought to bear on the decision-making process. Sources of information may include such variables as:
        • a. past or current records;
        • b. relevant experience or advice;
        • c. research or literature, etc.
  • 3. A quantitative or qualitative analysis of the risk should be undertaken and a decision made on the level or risk associated with choosing a particular path, or option.

Step 4 - Risk Assessment

  • 1. This involves a comparison of the level of risk determined in the Risk Analysis stage and deciding whether the risks can be accepted.

Step 5 - Risk Treatment

  • 1. Choices about how to proceed are made at this stage and may involve choices such as:
        • a. avoiding the risk altogether (choosing a less risky alternative, deferring responsibility to other parties, etc.);
        • b. accepting the risk within the choices made and establishing an appropriate plan to accommodate the risks;
        • c. reducing the likelihood of an occurrence;
        • d. reducing the consequences to an occurrence.
  • 1. Plans to proceed with a given decision should document how the chosen options shall be implemented. Responsibilities and accountabilities for actions should be specified here.

Step 6 - Monitoring and Review

  • 1. Ongoing review is essential to ensure that original choices, decisions, plans, etc. remain relevant as few risks remain constant – what was suitable in the past, may no longer be the appropriate course of action today, or in the future.
  • 2. It is therefore necessary to regularly repeat the risk management cycle (steps 1 – 6) – review is an integral part of the risk management treatment plan.

Appendix 3: Life Cycle Costing Reference List



Things to consider

Cost of Item

    • What currency is the quotation in?
    • What conversion rate have you factored in?
    • Have you allowanced for currency conversions and fluctuation in the value of $AUD
    • What items have not been included in the initial cost of the item(s)


    • Dimensions what are the physical dimensions and weight of the equipment– will it physically fit in the space allocated
    • If the equipment is not located on the ground floor will it fit in the lift and/or corridors for transportation to the installation site
    • Are all installation costs included in quotation
    • Have you included freight charges
    • If it is coming from overseas have you included any customs and/or duty that may be charged?



Things to consider

Maintenance Contracts

    • Are there regular maintenance or inspection and testing required that can be covered by a service contract
    • Will ITS be required to provide maintenance surrounding this item(s)

Special Licences

    • Software
    • Radiation or Hazardous Substance licences
    • Quarantine or AQIS licences
    • Forklift
    • Working at heights



Things to consider

Risk Assessment/ Safe Work Procedure

    • Has a risk assessment been completed for the item? Are safe work procedures required as a control measure?


    • Is there any external or internal training required to use the item?
    • Who will be competent to deliver and assess training for the use and maintenance of the equipment

Laboratory Design

    • Is the laboratory configure to use the item, e.g. specifically for microbiological organisms, radiation or laser use?

First Aid Items

    • First Aid requirements


    • Do you need door signage
    • Specialist lab signage

Storage requirements

    • Spill kit
    • Dangerous goods cabinet

Ergonomic Factors

    • Has an assessment been made as to how people will use this item safely, e.g. height of desk, bench, chair etc.


    • PPE i.e. goggles for laser usage
    • Isolation/Guarding does this equipment require to be isolated or guarded to minimise WHS risk



Things to consider

Other items

    • Are there other requirements such as use of cryogens
    • Has all storage of non-essential items been considered? Is there sufficient space to house these?


    • Is there sufficient storage space for ancillary items i.e. paper, cleaning utensils etc

Environmental Factors

    • Does the item produce waste – are there specialist waste disposal required?
    • Does the item require specialist cleaning services
    • Does this purchase comply with the University Environmental plan

Disposal Costs

    • What is the life expectancy of the equipment
    • Are there any hazardous materials, i.e. radioactive isotopes, required to be disposed of at the time of disposal



Things to consider

What are the staffing implications

    • Does it require additional/specialist staff for the implementation/installation/training and ongoing support of the item(s)
    • Can this be provided by existing or new staff?
    • Does it require ancillary support from central units i.e. Facilities Management Division – maintenance or ITS for software development and support

Will this be a new position?

    • Does it require a specialist operator or can existing staff be utilised
    • If new staff member, additional operational costs i.e.
      • salary,
      • phone, internet,
      • training,
      • space (if not located in the same area as equip)




Things to consider


    • Does the flooring need removing/replacing
    • Is the floor strong enough to support the equipment


    • Are desks, drawers, cupboards etc required


    • Do walls and/or doors need moving


    • Is special insulation required to ensure noise is limited to surrounding areas

Structural Support/Demolition

    • Are any demolition works required, if so what are the removal costs


    • Disabled Access ramps
    • Bunded areas for chemical spills
    • Will the area require painting



Things to consider

Power Supply

    • Does the new equipment require additional power i.e. 3 phase or 15 amp
    • Do any cabinets require earthing?

Water Supply

    • Do you need water in the space in order for the equipment to run (this does not include cooling water)

Gas Services

    • Are additional gas lines required to be installed
    • Are there existing services in the building
    • Is compressed air required?


    • Does the equipment require access to drainage or bunded areas


    • Does the equipment emit toxic gases etc – does it require specialist ducting, supply air or extraction fans

Essential Services

    • Are additional smoke detectors required
    • Is additional exit signage required?


    • Chemical storage cabinets



Things to consider


    • Does the equipment need temperature control – to what level

Cooling Water

    • Does the equipment need cooling water to operate i.e. laser operation


    • Are there refrigeration requirements for either the equipment or for storage of samples – does it require freezers

Ongoing Maintenance

    • Are there regular service requirements that need to conducted by Facilities Management Division maintenance section


    • Uninterrupted Power supply





Things to consider


    • Are there sufficient phone and data ports available
    • Internet & Phone charges – ongoing costs


    • Will this have an impact on existing server capacity or will another server be required?


    • What type of computer requirements for equipment
    • What type of computer requirements for staff

Data Storage

    • Will this require the acquisition of further data storage


    • Does this item require specialist software to be purchased?
    • Who will manage this? Is it something that ITS will manage or is it readily available already


    • How does this impact / fit in with the ITS shared server model





Things to consider

Timelines for implementation

    • What time/notice is required by ITS / B&G etc for resource allocation for the project

Business Continuity Planning

    • Have you considered the impact of this purchase on the Business Continuity Planning

Replacement Strategy

    • When will the equipment need to be replaced / upgraded?
    • What costs will be associated with this replacement / upgrade?

Here to Help

Need a hand? Contact the Governance Unit for advice and assistance on policy issues.