Your Right to Information Your Right to Information

Government Contracts Register - SLHD

The GIPA Act requires agencies (including local councils) to record and publish certain information about some contracts with private sector bodies. Part 3, Division 5 of the GIPA Act states that information about contracts worth more than $150,000 between agencies and private sector bodies must be recorded in a register of government contracts.

Information must be entered in the register within 60 days after the contract, or contract variation becoming effective, and must remain on the register for 30 days, or until the contract is complete; whichever is longer.

That register must be published on the agency website, and made public in any other way that the agency decides to make its open access information available (for open access information publication requirements, see section 6 of the GIPA Act). Contracts that must be included in the government contracts register are those:

  • between an agency and a private sector contractor
  • signed after the commencement of the GIPA Act
  • for a value of $150,000 or more, and
  • involve the contractor undertaking a specific project such as construction, infrastructure or property development, or
  • the contractor agreeing to provide specific goods or services, or
  • the transfer or lease of real property.

Employment contracts are not included in the register.

Different classes of contracts

The Act provides for three different classes of contracts, each with different information requirements.

Class 1 contracts are those which have, or are likely to have, a value of $150,000 or more. The agency must enter the following information about Class 1 contracts in the government contracts register within 60 days of the contract becoming effective:

  • the name and address of the private sector contractor
  • details of any related company that may be involved in carrying out the contractual obligations
  • the date the contract became effective and its duration
  • the particulars of the project or goods or services to be provided under the contract
  • the estimated amount payable to the contractor and any allowable variations to that amount
  • any renegotiation provisions
  • the method of tendering and criteria for assessment, if appropriate, and
  • any provisions for payment to the contractor for operational or maintenance services.

Class 2 contracts are class 1 contracts where:

  • there has not been a public tender process and the terms and conditions of the contract have been negotiated directly with the contractor, or
  • the contract was the subject of a tender (whether public or not) but the terms and conditions have been substantially negotiated with the contractor, or
  • the obligations of one or more parties to maintain or operate infrastructure or assets could continue for 10 years or more, and the contract involves a privately financed project (as defined by Treasury) or the exchange of significant assets.

In addition to the requirements for class 1 contracts, class 2 contracts require the following information to be entered in the register:

  • particulars of any future transfer of significant assets to and from the agency
  • the results of any cost-benefit analysis
  • particulars of how risk will be apportioned, if relevant
  • particulars of any significant guarantees or undertakings between the parties, and
  • any other key elements of the contract (see section 30).

If a class 2 contract has a value, or likely value of more than $5 million, it becomes a class 3 contract.
Agencies must publish a copy of a class 3 contract on the government contracts register.

What information is protected?

Agencies do not have to publish in the register of government contracts, the following confidential information:

  • the commercial-in-confidence provisions of a contract
  • details of any unsuccessful tender
  • any matter that could reasonably be expected to affect public safety or security, or
  • any information where there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

Commercial-in-confidence provisions of a contract refer to information which:

  • would reveal the contractor's financing arrangements, financial modelling, cost structure or profit margins
  • could place the contractor at a substantial commercial disadvantage in present or future dealings with the agency, or
  • would disclose any intellectual property in which the contractor has an interest.

Sydney Local Health Districts' register of government contracts is available on the NSW Government Agencies eTendering Website.