Queensland Government requires ICT suppliers to meet new ethical, environmental and social standards
Many suppliers will already be complying with the requirements, but they will nonetheless want to review the details of the changes to ensure they can comply.
The Queensland Government has updated its standard ICT contracts to require suppliers to meet new ethical, environmental and social standards.
Effective immediately, suppliers that contract with the Queensland Government under the Queensland Information Technology Contracting (QITC) framework will be required to comply with modern slavery laws. Modern slavery refers to slavery, slavery-like practices (including forced labour, forced marriage and debt bondage), human trafficking, and the worst forms of child labour. The Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act already applies to suppliers doing business in Australia with annual consolidated revenue of $100m or more, and requires them to publish annual modern slavery statements describing their actions to investigate and address modern slavery risks. In addition to complying with the existing reporting requirements, the changes will require suppliers to conduct their business in a way that reduces the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. These changes are consistent with the Queensland Government's framework and roadmap of priority actions for 2022-2023 to eliminate modern slavery in government supply chains.
Supplier code of conduct
Suppliers will also need to comply with the Queensland Government's Supplier Code of Conduct. This document is published on the Queensland Government's website and sets out the Government's expectations for responsible suppliers. It requires suppliers to comply with relevant legislation and standards, and meet certain ethical, social and environmental expectations of the Government.
If a supplier is suspected of not complying with the Supplier Code of Conduct it may be issued with a show cause notice. If the Government customer still believes the supplier is not complying with the Supplier Code of Contract, the contract can be terminated for cause.
Customers who use the QITC framework may have developed additional provisions to deal with modern slavery or other issues covered in the Supplier Code of Conduct. In that case they will need to update their QITC contract templates to align them with the updated conditions. Many suppliers will already be complying with the requirements, but they will nonetheless want to review the details of the changes to ensure they can comply.
For further information or advice on how your organisation or business may be impacted by these changes, please contact a member of our team.
Get in touch
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.