Competitive tendering and contracting public sector services in Australia – a facilities management issue

P. D. Steane, D. H T Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Public sector regimes in Australasia are reforming their operations to enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Competition and contracts are presented as mechanisms facilitating such reform in areas such as costs, productivity and quality. This paper argues that short-term contractual arrangements such as compulsory tendering do not live up to such reformist expectations. Unresolved questions thus preclude any final judgement about the benefits claimed for contracts and tendering in public management. In pursuing “best value” procurement policies, the public sector should consider delivery of services as a facilities management issue. Furthermore, business practice suggests that success is linked to an ability to be flexible in environments noted for change more than constancy. However, the preference given to competitive tendering and contracting (CTC) and more specifically to compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) by state and federal governments in Australia limits the growth of networks at community levels. The policy arena from which CCT derives is more transitory and limited in scope. The notion of compulsory tendering through market competition is discussed and challenged. The authors conclude that good procurement of facilities is a result of strategic linkages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
Issue number5/6
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2000


  • Australia
  • Competition
  • Contracts
  • Management
  • Public sector
  • Purchasing


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