Guiding principles (Construction Guidance 1.2)

Explains the procurement principles and the construction procurement principles and their relationship to particular directions.

Effective date: 1 July 2018

Objective: To help Agencies understand the principles underpinning the Directions


The Directions adopt a principles based approach to Public Construction Procurement.

The procurement principles and the more specific construction procurement principles are guiding principles which should be used to help interpret the requirements in the Directions. The principles are not independent obligations.

This Guidance provides details of these principles and the relationship to particular Directions.

Procurement principles

The Directions are part of a broader public governance and accountability framework.

The procurement principles capture fundamental expectations about how public procurement should be conducted. They are consistent with related Victorian Government policies and frameworks as well as those of other Australian jurisdictions. The procurement principles are reproduced below.

When undertaking Public Construction Procurement in line with the Directions, Agencies must act in a way that is consistent with the following principles:

(a) value for money, taking into account:

  • the total benefits and costs over the life of the goods, services or works procured
  • environmental, social and economic factors, and
  • any risk related to the procurement

(b) accountability for procurement commensurate with appropriate levels of authority and responsibility

(c) probity through the application of integrity, ethical behaviour, fairness and transparency in the conduct of procurement processes

(d) scalability so that procurement governance policies and processes are appropriate and efficient, taking into account the capability of available resources and the complexity of the procurement undertaken

Construction procurement principles

The construction procurement principles (set out in the following table) expand on the procurement principles and reflect other issues that need to be considered in Public Construction Procurement.

These principles reflect the need to balance the probity expectations facing government with the need to be efficient in the way government interacts with industry when undertaking the procurement of the government’s significant infrastructure program.

These guiding principles should be used to interpret the requirements of the Directions and their intended purpose.

The construction procurement principles are referenced throughout the Directions to help Agencies identify where a principle is particularly relevant to interpreting a Direction.

Construction procurement principles

Directions to which the principles apply

Ensuring appropriate competition and contestability when undertaking Public Construction Procurement.

3, 5, 6

Employing the appropriate procurement delivery models and processes taking account of the complexity and value of the project and supplier market capability.

3, 6, 7

Appropriately planning and managing Public Construction Procurement to deliver procurement objectives.

3, 7

Reducing unnecessary burden of Public Construction Procurement for all parties.

3, 6, 7

Encouraging appropriate innovation and responsiveness in the supplier market.

3, 5, 7, 8

Fostering continuous improvement and building appropriate skills and capability in the conduct of Public Construction Procurement.

8, 9, 10

Conducting Public Construction Procurement in an open and transparent manner ensuring defensibility of processes.

4, 5, 9, 10

Treating all tender participants fairly and equally.

3, 4, 8

Conducting Public Construction Procurement in an efficient and timely manner.

3, 6

Undertaking Public Construction Procurement in accordance with relevant legislation, policy, guidance and any mandatory requirements in the directions.

2 - 10

Tools and support

The Construction Toolkit includes key documents, guidance and information about the Ministerial Directions and Instructions for public construction.

For further information about the Ministerial Directions and Instructions for public construction procurement, contact the Construction Policy Team.