Procurement during the caretaker period


As you are aware, the local government elections are scheduled for March this year. With this in mind, councils need to be aware of and plan for the caretaker period when procurement restrictions will apply. Additional restrictions are in place since legislative amendments in October 2019. The caretaker provisions are found in both the Local Government Act 2009 and the City of Brisbane Act 2010.  The purpose of the caretaker provisions is to ensure that no significant policy decisions are made near the end of a council term that bind future elected councils.  
When is the caretaker period? 

  • The caretaker period starts on the day that public notice of a local government election is given and ends when the declaration of poll is published  
  • Likely to commence on 22 February 2020 (Electoral Commission of Queensland)  

Following is a table of what council procurement can and cannot do during the caretaker period:

Can do Cannot do

Enter into a new contract equal to or less than legislated value*

Enter into a new contract greater than legislated value*

Continue existing procurement process (provided that no new contract is entered into greater than legislated value*)

Establish an exception to obtaining quotes or tenders before entering into a new contract (eg: a new register of pre-qualified suppliers or new preferred supplier arrangement)

Use existing pre-qualified supplier registers, preferred supplier arrangements and LGA arrangements (Local Buy) (provided no new contract is entered into greater than legislated value*)

Breach above procurement prohibitions, as they may result in:

  • A void contract
  • An invalid panel arrangement
  • Paying compensation



Note: The DLGRMA has confirmed the information in the above table is correct as advised by Local Buy. 

*Legislated value is greater than $200,000 or 1% (whichever is greater) of the local government’s net rate and utility charges as stated in the local government’s audited financial statement. 
During this period, Local Buy contract arrangements are still available and remain a valuable tool for your council's procurement requirements.

Having worked with Queensland councils for over 20 years and being a leading provider of probity services, Local Buy understands probity and the long-term reputational damage that probity breaches can bring to councils and to individuals. Our Probity Team has the knowledge and expertise to assist councils through this important period.
If you could like further information on how the Local Buy Probity Team can assist your council, please contact Adam Ozdowski on 0407 804 663 or