ACCC authorises SA councils’ joint waste tenders

ACCC commissioner says joint tender process more likely to encourage competition from suppliers than separate tenders.

The ACCC has granted authorisation to four Adelaide councils to jointly procure certain waste management services.

The four councils, Adelaide, Charles Sturt, Marion and Port Adelaide Enfield, and a council-owned procurement body, Council Solutions, have been authorised to appoint common providers  to supply waste processing and disposal services for recyclables, organics and residual waste, and to supply collection services for bulk bins, hard waste and street litter.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said the ACCC considers a joint tender process by the four councils is more likely to encourage competition from suppliers than separate tenders.

“The joint tender process is also likely to create efficiencies, such as reduced transaction costs and more efficient service delivery, which should be passed on to local residents through lower costs or improved services,” she said.

“The ACCC considers it is unlikely that the joint tenders will reduce competition in the Adelaide waste service industry in the long run. The Councils expect to attract a number of competitors and the ACCC considers that unsuccessful tenderers will be able to compete for other waste management services in South Australia.”

The announcement follows the ACCC granting interim authorisation in September 2018 to jointly procure certain waste management services. In October, the ACCC released a determination granting authorisation to the kerbside waste collection procurement arrangements.

The determinations released today relate to receival and processing application and bulk bin, hard waste and street litter collections application.

Joint tendering by local councils is common and the ACCC has previously authorised many similar proposals across Australia over the years.

The councils’ aim in running a joint tender process is to provide value for money, improve waste management and reduce waste, and to achieve environmental and economic benefits for their communities.

“The ACCC considers that the councils are well informed and well placed to decide whether running a single tender process for a larger volume of work or four smaller, separate tenders, is likely to deliver the best outcomes for their respective communities.”

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