WA Industry Link: Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy

Providing local industry, in particular small and medium sized businesses, with greater opportunities to access and compete for State Government contracts.
Last updated:

As of 1 July 2024, the WAIPS Portal is live.

About

The Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS) was developed as a requirement of the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 to provides local industry, in particular small and medium sized businesses, with greater opportunities to access and compete for State Government contracts.

WAIPS requirements are completed through the online portal.

WAIPS Portal

Who does it apply to

The WAIPS applies to all State Government departments, agencies, statutory authorities and government trading entities. It does not apply to universities and local government procurement.

Information for agencies

The WAIPS also applies to businesses seeking to supply to the State Government, as a participation plan is required with their tender bid. The participation plan will form part of the tender evaluation, award, contracting and reporting process.

Information for businesses

When does it apply

WAIPS applies to all forms of procurement (goods, services, housing and works) that are above designated values, including private-public partnerships and grants. The values (total life of the contract including GST) for WAIPS requirements are below:

Goods and services

Location in WAContract value
Metropolitan area$1million and above
Regional areas$500,000 and above

Housing and works

Location in WAContract value
Metropolitan area$3 million and above
Regional areas$500,000 and above

Key components

The WAIPS consists of various components to ensure that local businesses are provided with the best possible access to State Government supply opportunities. These include:

  1. Participation plans
  2. Exemptions
  3. Regional procurement
  4. Assistance
  5. Reporting and compliance

More detailed information of these components is available in the accordions below. 

Participation plans

When an agency plans the tender, if the contract value is above the figures in the table above, WAIPS requirements will apply. This means prospective suppliers must complete and submit a participation plan as part of their bid.

Depending on the value of the supply contract, an agency may need to prepare a simple participation plan requirement that will involve prospective suppliers to:

  • Estimate workforce numbers;
  • Demonstrate how they will generate local economic benefits;
  • Explain how they will provide full, fair and reasonable opportunity to local industry; and
  • Provide information on engagement of subcontractors valued at $20,000 and above.

Alternatively, a more detailed plan requiring the same information as the simple participation plan, with detail around subcontractor requirements and supply packages which have a threshold of $100,000 and above also sought.

Procuring agencies are responsible for ensuring that the link to the participation plan template is inserted into the tender document. From 1 July 2024, this link can be generated on the WAIPS Portal by creating a participation plan requirement, questions will be generated based on the estimated contract value provided. 

This ensures that all participation plans associated with the tender and their subsequent reports are all linked to the appropriate tender.

Procuring officers can refer to the Tender and contract model clauses document for guidance. These clauses detail important wording for consideration in relation to WAIPS participation plans and participation plan reporting obligations.

Participation plans are assessed by the procuring agency. At their discretion, participation plans can be weighted at either 10% or 20% of the qualitative evaluation criteria within a tender for a WAIPS supply.

For more information about assessing participation plans, contact WA Industry Link.

Contracting agencies must submit the successful bidders participation plan to the WA Industry Link within 2 months of contract award. From 1 July 2024, this can be done via the WAIPS Portal.

Exemptions

The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 allows for a procurement agency to be exempt from the procurement planning obligations within the WAIPS.

Exemptions can be granted by the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade or his delegate, the Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation or their delegate. Exemptions can be granted by the delegated authority in 2 ways:

  1. On a case by case basis or
  2. As a standing exemption in relation to a prescribed class or circumstance of WAIPS supply.

As part of the procurement planning, allow at least 15 working days for the Department to process the exemption application. Exemptions must be approved before a tender is released and no retrospective applications will be granted.

While a participation plan may be deemed unnecessary, reporting on workforce including apprenticeships and traineeships will be a condition of the exemption. 

Case by case exemptions:

Case by case exemptions can be requested for the circumstances listed below. The examples below are illustrative of typical exemption requests. The list is not exhaustive and there will be unique circumstances pertaining to an agency and its WAIPS supply that are not covered in this list. In these circumstances further advice can be sought from WA Industry Link. 

  • Classified and sensitive - Procurement that contains information requiring protection and security because it has or could have an impact on national interest.
  • Overseas expertise in specialised equipment - E.g. medical equipment such as MRI machines and some specialised industrial vehicles.
  • Sole source - Where only one source meets the needs of the procurement agency.
  • Must be performed in WA - Where the nature of the procurement has to be performed within WA;
  • Must be performed overseas - E.g. maintenance of an overseas office and tourism marketing in overseas markets.
  • Unique Circumstances - Where the procurement doesn’t fit one of the defined categories but the agency is able to demonstrate that there will be little or no benefit to the state to request a participation plan as part of the procurement process.
  • Common Use Arrangements (CUAs) and Agency Panel Arrangements
    Other - E.g. purchase of a basic utility service such as gas, water and electricity

Standing Exemptions

Standing exemptions are available to agencies when there are frequent or repetitive procurements which align with one exemption category. This process reduces the administration process by removing the requirement for participation plans (exemption process) and repetitive single exemption applications. Standing exemptions therefore are designed to improve efficiency and support more streamlined processes.

Granted exemptions

All approved WAIPS exemptions are published on this website. View a list of granted exemptions.

Further information on exemptions and how to apply for them can be found in the WAIPS participation plan exemption process guide document.

Reporting and compliance

Reporting on outcomes from the participation plan is also required under the WAIPS.

Reporting on outcomes from the participation plan is also required on contract completion, or as negotiated with the responsible government agency.

Reporting requirements are a contractual obligation and these reports may be subject to an independent audit. You should also make suppliers aware that their business may be listed in a non-compliance register and their unfulfilled commitment will be considered in the assessment of future bids.

The government may use project specific employment information, either committed or reported for the business of government.

Reporting obligations apply to all WAIPS contracts, including those that have been exempted from participation plans, grants, Common Use Agreement and agency panel contracts, and Delivering Community Services in Partnership service providers.

Regional procurement

A key role of WAIPS is to maximise the participation of competitive regional businesses in WA Government contracts.

Procurement officers undertaking procurement for regional contracts are encouraged to work with the Local Content Advisers (LCAs) located in each Regional Development Commission to help local industry and businesses.

For contact information on the LCAs visit Regional support (Local Content Advisers).

The WAIPS also includes further initiatives to improve economic outcomes for regional industry and businesses. Including:

  • Agencies are encouraged to increase their delegated spend in regional areas.
  • Changes to Common Use Agreements and agency panel contracts to provide greater opportunities for regional sourcing.

Assistance

State Government agencies and local businesses can get help to implement the WAIPS through the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and the Local Content Advisers.

Find more information on the Support for businesses and Support for agencies pages.