Ensuring ethical procurement through Supplier Code of Conduct - Buyers

Read an overview of the Supplier Code of Conduct and the benefits it provides.

Overview of the Supplier Code of Conduct

The Victorian State Government is committed to ethical, sustainable and socially responsible procurement.

The Supplier Code of Conduct was developed to support the 2014 State election commitment to ensure that contracted government services are provided by suppliers that meet a set of minimum ethical standards.

The Supplier Code of Conduct was endorsed by the Policy, Strategy and Budget Committee, a Cabinet sub-committee chaired by the Premier.

It applies to all general government sector:

  • contracts
  • agreements
  • orders

The Supplier Code of Conduct applies to the supply of:

  • goods and services
  • construction works and construction services

Non-general government entities and local councils that align their procurement practices to either of the following frameworks should implement the Supplier Code of Conduct:

Any other non-general government entities and local councils, that have not yet aligned, are encouraged to implement the Supplier Code of Conduct as a matter of good practice.

The Victorian State Government’s s expectations do not supersede or alter the supplier’s regulatory and contractual obligations but rather work in conjunction with these obligations.

Suppliers commit to minimum ethical standards

Suppliers are required to commit to meeting minimum ethical standards of:

A. Integrity, ethics and conduct

The Victorian State Government expects high standards of ethical conduct and compliance with all applicable laws. Suppliers are expected to be ethical in their business activities, including relationships, practices, sourcing and operations.

B. Conflict of interest; gifts, benefits and hospitality

The Victorian State Government believes that all business activities should be undertaken with impartiality and any conflict of interest should be raised and managed.

C. Corporate governance

Commitment to sound management administration, risk and corrective action systems, are key to a reliable supply chain for the State. Suppliers are expected to maintain sound administration processes.

D. Labour and human rights

The Victorian State Government believes that all workers in its supply chain deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Suppliers are expected to provide a fair and ethical workplace, which upholds high standards of human rights and integrates appropriate labour and human rights policies and practices into its business.

E. Health and safety

Worker health, safety and well-being is important to the Victorian State Government. Suppliers are expected to provide a healthy and safe environment and integrate sound health and safety management practices into their business.

F. Environmental management

The Victorian State Government is committed to promoting environmental responsibility. Suppliers are expected to minimise the environmental impact of their operations and maintain environmentally responsible policies and practices.

Benefits of the Supplier Code of Conduct

The Supplier Code of Conduct:

  • clearly articulates the Victorian State Government’s values and expectations of suppliers, and seeks supplier support;
  • provides guidance and advice to suppliers for reporting instances of misconduct, unethical behaviour or suspected corruption or if a State employee has breached the Victorian Public Sector Code
  • addresses recommendations from the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) report Perceptions of Corruption – Survey of Victorian Government Suppliers, June 2016, in response to suppliers’ concerns regarding public sector procurement
  • requires minimal administrative changes by government buyers as it complements current procurement practice

Tools and support

This content on this page is taken from the Ensuring Ethical Procurement Government Buyer fact sheet. Access a Microsoft Word version of this document in the Supplier Code of Conduct –toolkit and document library.

For more information about the Supplier Code of Conduct, please contact the Goods and services policy team.