5 February 2016
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LGP News February 2016

" Keeping you connected in local government procurement "


Local Government Procurement -

Ten Years On

by Brian O'Mara, General Manager

Welcome to our first newsletter of the year, with a new look and feel for 2016. This year marks a significant milestone in the life of our organisation. It marks the tenth year of our operations.

Allow me to take you on a small journey. In March 2006 when I received a phone call from a very good friend in Brisbane. She worked for the Queensland Local Government Association and I worked then at the Western Australian Local Government Association. She told me about a role she heard was to be advertised to set up a company to "run tenders for councils in NSW'. I was not really interested in any move to Sydney as Perth was home, family ties and was happy with the role I had at the time.

No more than an hour after that conversation, I received a call from someone at the then Local Government and Shires Association letting me know that the role mentioned in the earlier conversation was about to be advertised and that they “considered me to be an ideal applicant”. No idea why. Anyway I realised someone was trying to tell me something so I hesitantly applied for the role, was interviewed (twice) and was offered the role. I moved to Sydney in May 2006. That’s when the fun began. No office. No staff. No plan. No idea really. But what a journey.

We found ourselves an office at 50 Clarence Street Sydney. Perfect. Furnished, including printers, rubbish bins and a dart board! We developed processes, earmarked potential contracts and spoke with lots of people from councils (who incidentally told me that this new organisation had absolutely no chance of succeeding - you know who you are!). We developed position descriptions and a structure of six people and advertised the roles. We filled them and opened our doors on 21 August 2006. There we were – Brian, Phill, Emma, Margret, Mark and Paul. The start of something we did not know was to be as big as it is.

So ten years on, what have we achieved? Quite a bit on reflection. Here are some highlights:

  • LGP has developed a series of thirty highly used contracts – incidentally built on the requests we received from councils, not what we thought could make us a dollar;
  • Since 2007, every year every council in NSW has utilised an LGP contract – something we were told would never happen;
  • Growth in the use of LGP contracts has grown on average 20% per year. Not a bad growth rate;
  • When we commenced, a survey of councils indicated that only two NSW council staff had any qualifications in procurement. Today, more than 50 are now qualified with a Certificate IV or Diploma in Government Procurement, built specifically by LGP for staff in NSW councils. A further 2000 staff have undertaken other procurement training modules developed by LGP;
  • The appreciation of what sound procurement practices can do for any organisation has gone from zero to 100 over the years. I would like LGP to take some credit for that significant rise in appreciation;
  • Our plans to build a network of procurement staff who could confer and guide each other was the princely sum of six in 2006 (meaning just LGP staff). The network now exceeds 1500 participants;
  • The development of the highly awarded VendorPanel software system was in fact an LGP concept for councils and contractors in NSW. It is now used right across Australia in a variety of sectors and has paved the way for probity and transparency in calling quotes – something that did not exist ten years ago;
  • The Local Government Procurement Conference started in 2007 and was attended by around 30 delegates. Nine years on it attracts over 100 delegates, with internationally renowned speakers and a great reputation as the go to procurement event of the year;
  • LGP shares the management fee we receive from our contractors, based on sales made on our contracts. We have refunded back to council users over $2 million since 2007;
  • Lastly it has been estimated that LGP has conservatively saved councils in NSW over $1.75 billion since we opened our doors. That is calculated on time savings in not needing to tender and savings on unit costs of goods and services. Significant!

These are just a few of our highlights – there are dozens more, but let’s not get boring! So why have I taken you on this small journey? Well it is time for change. I have decided it is time to move on and will be retiring on 24 March 2016. It’s been ten years of hard (but very rewarding work). The longest I have held one role in my career is 18 months, so I must have really enjoyed my time to see out ten years at LGP. On reflection I am very proud of what we have achieved at LGP over the last decade. Very proud. Whilst my retirement has surprised many, it is something I have planned for 18 months. I like to think I am leaving the organisation at the top of its game with a long bright future assisting councils.

The LGP business model is simple – work with councils and contractors to meet their needs. Successfully implemented it would seem.

My special thanks to every LGP staff member who has taken a role with us. You have all been instrumental in our success. “Employ for attitude not for skill” has worked for us! To the LGP Chairperson Paul Braybrooks OAM and the entire LGP Board, thank you for your support and confidence. Thanks to all NSW councils and in particular their procurement staff. A huge effort being carried by an under resourced group. The biggest thank you goes to my wife Marie for supporting me though the journey. There were many long days and sleepless nights. Perth was looking good after 18 months in Sydney. Glad I hung around!

So this is my last article in LGP News. It’s been a blast. I’m off soon to travel and to enjoy some me time. LGP will be left in the capable hands of Michael Robinson as Acting General Manager for the interim until the position is advertised and filled.

Até mais tarde!


2016 Local Government Procurement Annual Conference -
save the date

LGP is pleased to announce that this year's Local Government Procurement Annual Conference will be held on 17 and 18 November 2016 in Sydney.

LGP encourages all councils to attend this year, as we will be celebrating a big milestone, being our tenth annual conference. 
More information will be available in the coming weeks, click here to stay updated.


2016 IPWEA NSW Regional Forums

LGP is proud to be a Silver Partner at this year's IPWEA NSW Regional Forums and will be attending all locations between 15 February and 23 March 2016.

The state-wide program is a fantastic opportunity to network with your peers from neighbouring councils and participate in a dynamic program covering a variety of procurement topics, with a focus on key current issues and technical information.

The forums will include informative presentations and local projects with plenty of informal discussion concluding with a relaxed dinner creating the opportunity to share knowledge with peers and suppliers.

For information regarding the forums, locations, dates and registrations please click here.


LGP Training - watch this space

We have recently reviewed our training packages and how they are delivered. Having completed this review we have taken the decision to move in a new direction that aligns with the needs of councils and associated organisations. 

Part of this new strategy is to embrace technology and e-learning to enhance the training experience and lower the cost, particularly for anyone in regional areas. We understand the need for continuing to deliver face to face training but see an opportunity for an integrated approach. 

Rebecca North has worked for LGP for nearly two years in a number of roles and has taken on the challenge of Training Coordinator to help pull all of this together. We congratulate Rebecca on her new role and look forward to exciting times ahead. 

Rebecca North - Training Coordinator


An exciting new phase of professional development

Following a long and trusted partnership, LGP and ArcBlue have joined forces to bring a refreshed modern and tailored Professional Development Program.

Building on the training and development, we are delighted to launch a revised offering in 2016. This blended learning approach will see participants benefit from:

  • a training needs analysis, allowing you to identify knowledge gaps;
  • eLearning – offers training at your fingertips! Access specific NSW government procurement modules as well as generic courses;
  • tailored training packs for ROCs and individual councils;
  • a more diverse and updated face to face program.

We are currently finalising and testing the program for a phased launch commencing in the coming weeks. More information will be added to the website and a launch of the program will be communicated soon. If you have any questions or would like to register your interest in the program, please contact Rebecca North, Training Coordinator. 


Entire Agreement clauses – do we need them?

Many contracts contain Whole of Contract, or Entire Agreement clauses. This article will briefly look at when Entire Agreement clauses are useful and what they are designed to do. 

Entire Agreement clauses are clauses in a contract that state that the written document contains the whole agreement between the parties.

However, only well drafted contracts will restrain a court from implying necessary contracts, regardless of Entire Agreement clauses.

Monica Kelly from Prevention Partners NSW explains more here.


LGP 2016 Audit

LGP has advised approved contractors this week that it has embarked on an audit process of its contracts. As a prescribed entity, LGP is subject to being audited.

The LGP Audit Team will commence the process of analysing sales and reporting data extracted from VendorPanel and the LGP Contractor Reporting Portal. LGP may seek clarification from councils and other LGP customers to assist with this audit process.

Reporting is an important compliance, necessary to safeguard councils when utilising LGP contracts and believe they are meeting their legislative requirements by doing so. If an LGP Approved Contractor is uncertain whether goods and services are provided under an LGP contract they are encouraged to seek confirmation from councils.

Should you have any questions regarding this audit process, please do not hesitate to contact LGP Audit Team Leader, Margret Szanto on (02) 8270 8704 or by email.


LGP Contract Implementation Webinar -
Bulk Fuel, Aviation, Fuel Cards, Oils & Lubricants (NPN C031-12)

Local Government Procurement (LGP) will be running a webinar for councils regarding the launch of the new Bulk Fuel, Aviation, Fuel Cards, Oils & Lubricants (NPN C031-12) contract which will provide you with a clearer understanding of how the contract was established, the scope of the contract as well as other critical information.

This webinar will also provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification on any aspect of the contract.

The reason LGP have begun running these sessions is due to feedback from councils that they would like more information on how new LGP contracts will work.

If you would like to register for the Bulk Fuel, Aviation, Fuel Cards, Oils & Lubricants (NPN C031-12) implementation session please click here.

Session details
Date: 9 February 2016
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
Delivery mode: online webinar

If you require any further information, please contact Taryn Quarmby on
0432 264 232 or by email


What's new on the LGP website?

Council Sample Specifications

The purpose of these guidelines is to enable all users to develop improved specifications to ensure superior outcomes in your procurement activities. By adopting and implementing these guidelines within your organisation you will have a greater opportunity to add value to the procurement process.

Click here for more information and to view the specification quick guides.


Do you want to be part of the LGP Network?

LGP Network meetings are facilitated to bring procurement staff from across NSW together, they are a forum to discuss ideas, current issues and where appropriate work as a team on special projects.

The dates for 2016 are:

9 March 2016
15 June 2016
14 September 2016

Find out more information here.


Want to know who is your Business Manager at LGP?

Local Government Procurement has dedicated business managers to look after the needs of councils, approved contractors, not for profit organisations and other government bodies. Click here to see who can help you.


Current LGP

For information regarding LGP tenders, including current status, click here.


Current LGP Contracts

Find out what current contracts LGP has here.


Upcoming LGP Tenders and new LGP Contracts

To find out what tenders are coming up at LGP or what new contracts have commenced at LGP, click here.


Amendments to LGP Contracts 

To find out information about amendments that have occurred between LGP and Approved Contractors, click here.


What's happening with LGP approved contractors?

LGP1008-2 IT&C Professional Services contract

Well Done released CouncilPRO in June this year to provide specialised outsourced support for our clients in local government. Well Done is an Approved Contractor with LGP and handles services for 53 councils in NSW.

We are pleased to report that all our Council Services have been moved across to CouncilPRO and we are now following up with the large metropolitan councils that have been using the system for some months for their input for future development.

Local time/server time, overflow/after hours menus were early additions. Councils are now asking for features that will help them coordinate their teams, for instance, so that issues raised in their CRM by Well Done can be closed by on call staff in the field via hand held devices. 


Reporting filters by work group, view only log ins for operational staff and API integration for ePathways will be implemented in the next 1-3 months. The system also allows councils to log issues into the system as well, allowing a fail-safe if your system is down, or seamless handover if you require Well Done to follow through on an issue taken right on closing time.

To ask questions about our after hours and overflow support for councils or to schedule a demonstration of CouncilPRO, please call Kerrie McLeod on 08 6430 7400 or 0421 880 153.


Procurement Tip of the Month

By Procurement Services Team

Ensure that the copy of the General Conditions of Contract or any conditions of contract provided in the tender documentation is watermarked with “DRAFT”. The tenderer needs to be made aware of the conditions of contract relating to the tender, but the tender documentation is not a form of contract. 


LGP and Social Procurement Australasia

As part of our commitment to more sustainable procurement, Local Government Procurement is proud to be a member of Social Procurement Australasia (SPA). Find out more about who SPA are here.