The Commonwealth government is considering acceding to the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (AGP). The purpose of the AGP is to liberalise government procurement amongst member countries. Pursuant to Art. XX of the AGP, it is a requirement for a member country to have a procedure whereby suppliers can challenge government procurement decisions.
A review of the existing mechanisms under Australian law for challenging procurement can be challenged. I believe that none of the existing measures are sufficient to meet the requirements of Art. XX. Accordingly, I suggest adopting a new challenge procedure, with any challenge to be heard by a new administrative body. This challenge procedure can cover either only AGP related procurement, or all Commonwealth government procurement. Further, whereas the challenge procedure can be limited to only the requirements of Art. XX, I recommend including other procedural points to make for a better procedure.
Accordingly, recommendations are made for both a challenge procedure that meets the minimum requirement of the AGP and a preferred procedure.