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Read the case study and use the resources provided below to complete the discussion question.

Case Study – Investigation of ABC Constructions for the Ipswich Stadium Project

ABC Constructions Pty Ltd (ABC) is the principal contractor on a new $95 million sports stadium at Ipswich.  The Queensland Government is determined the stadium will become a world class facility and will be utilised during the 2032 Olympics and beyond.  The Government expects that all suppliers used on this project will act ethically in full compliance with the Ethical Supplier Mandate and the Ethical Supplier Threshold.

This includes prioritising local subcontractors and indigenous employment on the project.

During this exercise, the procuring agency for this project is the Department of Energy and Public Works.

ABC have provided a signed Ethical Supplier Threshold declaration during tender and have no history of any non-compliance with the Threshold.

ABC have asked that all subcontractors support the Government’s commitments having included these commitments in the subcontracts awarded during the subcontractor tendering process.

As part of their contractual commitments for the project, ABC was required to complete 1600 on the job training hours made up of 960 ‘New entrant’ and 640 ‘Other workforce’ on the job training hours.

These hours were entered into the Training Policy Administration System (TPAS) at the commencement of the project.

As part of their tender, ABC committed to ensuring that a minimum of 85% of their project workforce would be comprised of workers who lived within a 125km radius of the project site with a further 15% residing within Queensland.

ABC also included in their tender a commitment to employ throughout the course of the project, 25 indigenous workers provided by a local Indigenous Employment Agency ‘Ipswich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Employment.’

Construction commenced on the steel work six months ago.

You have been contacted by the Queensland Government Procurement Compliance Branch and advised that an audit has been conducted of the Managing Contractor for the project. You receive the referral documentation that details how during the audit it was identified 2 employees had not been paid their appropriate entitlements resulting in significant underpayments.

It was further identified during this audit Workplace Health and Safety Queensland were investigating as a result of a worker employed by ABC suffering a broken leg after falling over an embankment. ABC had notified WH & S Queensland of this incident as per their requirements under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Approximately 6 months later, you are advised that the project has now reached practical completion and the Queensland Government Procurement Compliance Branch has conducted an audit of ABC’s contractual commitments to the Building and Construction Training Policy, Local Benefits, and ‘Other’ contractual commitments.

You are advised ABC were found to have only achieved 885 ‘New Entrant’ hours whilst they were found to have achieved 675 ‘Other workforce’ hours.

In auditing the ‘Local Benefits’ component it was identified that only 60% of their project workforce lived within the specified 125km radius of the project site with a further 40% living within Queensland and, while they had engaged ‘Ipswich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Employment’ only 18 indigenous workers had been employed on site during the constructions phase.

What you will need:

For this exercise, you will need to refer back to the resources provided to you in Module 8.

Discussion Question 1

In a group, discuss whether you consider that the types of behaviour demonstrated by ABC Constructions in the case study above may be identified as “negligent”?

Discussion Question 2

Would your answer to Discussion Question 1 change if you found out that ABC Constructions:

  • made contractual commitments to the Department of Energy and Public Works to comply with the Mandate and the Threshold;
  • failed to meet any of the commitments made at all;
  • is a national company that engages 1000 employees;
  • has been in operation for 30 years;
  • has a QBCC maximum allowable turnover of $10 million;
  • has 3 separate enterprise agreements listed on the Fair Work Commission website; and
  • provides a downloadable capability statement that says it has completed 3 previous stadium projects.
Not intended as legal advice. Read full disclaimer.