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Building Equality Policy - Buyers

Find out what the Building Equality Policy is and how to apply it to procurement.

Application of the Building Equality Policy

The Building Equality Policy applies to all publicly funded construction projects that meet the following requirements:

  • Valued at $20 million or more (excluding GST)
  • Request for Tenders released to market from 1 January 2022

See Construction mandated agencies for the list of Agencies that must comply.

The policy does not apply to:

  • Projects contracted before 1 January 2022
  • Request for Tenders released to market before 1 January 2022

Grants are not subject to the Building Equality Policy.

The policy is implemented through the Social Procurement Framework. It aligns with the Women’s equality and safety objective.

Values and thresholds listed in the policy

Thresholds refer to the total budget allocated over the life of the project. It does not refer to the value of individual contracts.

Consider applying the policy if the estimated project value is close to $20 million (excluding GST). For example, if the total project value is $19.9 million (excluding GST). Contingency spending may increase the value of the project over $20 million.

The project value refers to the total budget allocated over the life of the project.

For example, the total value of the project is $20 million (excluding GST). It involves several contracts, including design, early works, construction, and maintenance. In this case, Building Equality Policy requirements apply to early works and construction stages.

Procurement planning

Buyers must complete a Social Procurement Plan for each individual procurement activity valued at or above $20 million (exclusive of GST).

Procurement on construction projects with a total project budget of $20 million (exclusive of GST) must include:

  • Building Equality Policy requirements
  • Social Procurement Framework requirements
  • Other policies as may apply

The Building Equality Policy requirements include three actions that are required to be complied with.

See the Social Procurement Plan Template.

Invite Offers

Buyers must notify potential tenderers of policy requirements and include policy requirements in market approach documents.

Expression of Interest

At this stage, potential tenderers will need to be informed that the policy will apply to their tender submission.

During the tender process

Buyers must insert the Building Equaility Policy model clauses into procurement offer documents without deleting any sections. The model clauses cover definitions, conditions of tender, draft contract, and response schedules. The Building Equality Policy response schedule will replace the Women's equality and safety response.

Model clauses will be made available shortly.

Buyers should include an overview of applicable procurement related policies in tenderer briefings.

Evaluate offers

The minimum weighting recommended for Building Equality Policy requirements is 5%. The recommended minimum 5-10% weighting for other Social Procurement Framework objectives is separate.

The three policy actions carry equal weight in the tender evaluation.

Action 1: Meet project specific gender equality targets

Action 1 equates to 1/3 of the Building Equality Policy weighting.

Buyers will score responses from Tenderers in the Social Procurement Commitment Proposal for meeting the gender equality targets in Action 1.

Scoring of commitments will consider a Tenderer’s ability to meet the targets.

Action 2: Engage women as apprentices and trainees

Action 2 equates to 1/3 of the Building Equality Policy weighting.

Buyers will score responses from Tenderers in the Social Procurement Commitment Proposal for meeting the apprentices and trainees target in Action 2.

Scoring of commitments will consider a Tenderer’s ability to meet the targets.

Action 3: Require Gender Equality Action Plans

Action 3 equates to 1/3 of Building Equality Policy weighting.
Buyers will confirm that the Tenderer has submitted the two Gender Equality Action Plans:

  1. An Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan using the prescribed template
  2. A Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan using the prescribed template

Responses to all mandatory actions in the Gender Equality Action Plans must include suitable strategies, deliverables, and time frames.

Scoring is either complete or incomplete:

  • Complete - all mandatory actions have a response
  • Incomplete - one or more mandatory actions have no response

Finalise the contract

Buyers may negotiate and finalise the commitments made by the tenderer. The final commitments will form part of the contract.

Successful or unsuccessful tenderers may request feedback on their response. This should form part of the debriefing process.

Manage the contract

The Building Equality Policy is subject to a transitional implementation period until 1 January 2024.

Buyers should consider a facilitative approach to managing contractor performance during this period. The approach should focus on:

  • Education and awareness
  • Improving the number of women in the construction industry
  • Building inclusive workplace cultures

Within 20 business days, contractors must report on an inability to meet:

  • Policy action targets
  • Gender Equality Action Plan mandatory actions

Buyers should then require contractors to outline steps to improve performance.

Verification of the contractor’s performance should be undertaken at practical completion.

The Department of Treasury and Finance Social Procurement Assurance team is responsible for compliance and monitoring of the Building Equality Policy.

From 1 January 2024 penalties may apply for non-compliance as determined by the Buyer.

Reporting requirements

Buyers must set up reporting requirements in the Victorian Management Centre against the Social Procurement Framework Women’s Equality and Safety objective.

Buyers will receive the following reporting from contractors:

Action 1: Achieve gender equality targets

Progress tracking and recording of actual hours against the baseline every 6 months.

Action 2: Engage women apprentices or trainees

Progress tracking and recording of actual hours against the baseline every 6 months.

Action 3: Require Gender Equality Actions Plans

Every 12 months during the life of the project:

  • Progress against Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan
  • An updated Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit

Every 6 months during the life of the project:

  • Progress against Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan

Buyers are responsible for ongoing monitoring of the social procurement commitments. This includes reporting on new, in progress and completed projects.

Help and support

For advice and support, contact the Department of Treasury and Finance Social Procurement Assurance team.

For information about the Building Equality Policy, contact the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions Social Procurement Policy team.

Access the Building Equality Policy - Define terms for further information.

Reviewed 12 May 2022

Buying for Victoria

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