The Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB) reformed procurement guidelines in 2014 for all government departments and public sector agencies. Following this process, Health Purchasing Victoria (HPV) aligned its procurement policies to the VGPB reforms. This reform is designed to ensure probity, planning, purchase category analysis as well as clear accountability and transparency underpin procurement models. In 2015 HPV mandated that all health services need to comply with HPV purchasing policies and that health services must transition to the HPV procurement policies by 30 June 2016. Latrobe Regional Health has established a Procurement Framework that provides guidelines and protocols for conducting any procurement activity. The Framework and its associated procurement policies and procedures offer a strategy that ensures a coordinated approach to procurement at all levels of LRH. The Framework ensures strategic planning, equity of supply opportunity for local businesses and demonstrated value for money is central to LRH’s procurement activity.
Procurement – Complaints Process
A procurement complaint is an issue or concern expressed by a supplier in relation to the process and probity applied by LRH in the procurement activity for a good or service. A complainant can refer a complaint about goods and services to anyone within LRH. All formal complaints are to be referred to the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for review, investigation (if warranted) and response. The CPO may nominate a Procurement Complaints Officer to undertake this task.
Complainant – Complaint Process
The timely investigation and resolution of complaints by suppliers, in accordance with established formal procedures is an essential requirement for maintaining good relationships between LRH and suppliers. The complainant is required to provide details of the concerned dispute or complaint being lodged, including:
1. a clear written statement of the perceived unsatisfactory approach and/or actions in the procurement process
2. copies of or references to information to support the complaint
3. a statement regarding the desired outcome from the complaint process. If further correspondence or information is required, the supplier will be given no less than 15 working days to respond to any communication from LRH unless the matter is urgent.
Complaints are to be lodged in writing or email to:
Chief Procurement Officer
Latrobe Regional Health PO Box 424 Traralgon Victoria 3844 LRH Procurement Complaints Officer
The CPO will receive and review the complaint, then assign a dedicated procurement complaints officer. The procurement complaints officer will be independent of the procurement process and the subject matter of the complaint. Upon receipt of the complaint, the officer will:
* Enter the complaint into the Procurement Complaints Register, maintained by the CPO.
* Acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 5 working days of receiving it. This acknowledgement will contain the contact name of the investigating officer, the proposed action and the associated timeframes.
* If additional information or clarification of complaint is required, LRH will advise the supplier of this. LRH and the complainant will come to an agreed extension of time.
* Once the LRH Procurement Complaints Officer has received all required information, investigation is to be undertaken.
* LRH Procurement Complaints Officer is to provide findings to the CPO within 15 working days.
* CPO is to provide recommendations to the Chief Executive (CE) within 5 working days.
* CE determines the appropriate course of action.
* The complainant should be advised in writing of the process undertaken by LRH, the outcome of the investigation, usually within 30 working days of receiving all written correspondence relating to a complaint. This correspondence should also include escalation process if the complainant is unsatisfied with the outcome. Unresolved complaints If the complainant is unsatisfied with the outcome from LRH, the unresolved complaint that specifically relate to Health Purchasing Victoria (HPV) contracts can be directed onto the HPV Board for review. All other complaints can be referred the Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB). A complainant can refer a complaint to the HPV Board/VGPB for review if not satisfied with the findings and actions of LRH. This could be related to the management of the complaint or the application of procurement policy and procedures. LRH is to inform the HPV Board/VGPB within 5 working days of any complaint that could not be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
Complaints submitted to the HPV Board/VGPB must be lodged by letter, email or fax within 10 working days of the receipt of the findings by LRH to:
The Chair HPV Board
Health Purchasing Victoria
Level 34, 2 Lonsdale Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
The Chair Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Department of Treasury and Finance
GPO Box 4379
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
The complainant must provide the following material:
* evidence that LRH did not correctly apply the procurement policy and procedures in relation to a procurement activity
* evidence that LRH’s complaints management procedures were not applied correctly
* a copy of all relevant correspondence between the complainant and LRH service in relation to the nature of the complaint
* any additional material requested by the HPV Board/VGPB to assist it in its findings The HPV Board/VGPB:
* will inform LRH and complainant of its findings and any further action it intends to take in relation to the matter
* can require LRH’s CE to audit its application of procurement policy and procedures in relation to the procurement activity
* can inform the Minister of Health (HPV complaints) or Assistant Treasurer (VGPB complaints) of its review of a complaint and advise the Minister of further action that could be taken
* may note the outcome of a review in relation to any complaint in its annual report to Parliament
LRH Procurement Activity Plan
A summary of LRH’s Procurement Activity Plan for 1 July 2022 – 31 December 2023 is available here