Secure Local Jobs – Final Code Released
The ACT Government has today released the final version of the Secure Local Jobs Code and announced the appointment of Andrew Parkinson as the Secure Local Jobs Code Registrar.
The appointment of the Registrar is the first step in a long list of items that the ACT Government needs to finalise before 15 January 2019 when the Secure Local Jobs Code commences.
The MBA and our members have spent tireless hours working with the ACT Government to improve the draft Code and is disappointed that Government has ignored many of our concerns, and instead backed the interests of big Unions over small business.
A number of key concerns from industry, including the conflict between the new ACT laws and Federal Procurement Rules remain unresolved, meaning local businesses will start 2019 not knowing whether they can continue to tender for lucrative ACT Government contracts and comply with Federal procurement requirements. Whilst there have been some small amendments to the draft Code, which the MBA welcomes, the conflict with the Federal 2016 Building Code has not been resolved.
The MBA had requested government extend the commencement date for the new laws by 6 months to give small business time to prepare for the new procurement rules, which include mandatory audits, a requirement to hold a Code certificate and submission of a Labour Relations, Training and Workplace Equity Plan, however this request was ignored on a number of occasions.
With less than 30 working days until the new Code commences, it beggars belief that the ACT Government is still rushing these laws, instead of taking the time to properly understand and respond to the concerns raised by small businesses. The new regulations will apply in addition to the existing ACT requirements to maintain an IRE certificate, comply with the Local Industry Participation Policy, maintain annual ACT Government pre-qualification, participate in active certification audits, and Federal obligations to maintain certification with the 2016 Building (Procurement Code) and submit a Workplace Relations Management Plan.
At the end of the day, every requirement of the new ACT procurement rules are already covered by an existing law. This new legislation simply duplicates existing law, which is the very definition of red tape.
The new ACT procurement rules will add uncertainty, time and cost to the process of tendering for ACT Government work, meaning many Canberra based small business will simply not bother.
To assist our members in addressing the requirements of the new ACT procurement rules, the MBA, in conjunction with the newly appointed Secure Local Jobs Code Registrar, Andrew Parkinson, will be holding an industry engagement session.