A Public Interest Certificate (PIC) is a document issued by the Secretary of the department (or their delegate) in accordance with section 22 of the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 [the GP (JR) Act].
A PIC will state that it is not in the public interest for a particular procurement process to be suspended while applications for injunctions are being considered, or complaints are being investigated, under the GP (JR) Act.
A Public Interest Certificate should only be issued in a situation where a suspension would result in a real adverse consequence for the public interest, such as in relation to the health, national security, safety, public security or economic or financial well-being of the people of Australia or the functioning of any portion of the Commonwealth Government. Such an adverse impact on the public interest should exceed the right of any aggrieved supplier to have the covered procurement suspended.
A Public Interest Certificate may be issued at any stage during the covered procurement process, however it is considered good practice to determine if a public interest certificate will be required as soon as possible in the procurement process (and prior to any potential complaints).
The following PICs have been issued by the department:
10018366 Norfolk Island Workers Compensation PIC
10019189 Environmental Assessment Package for the Airspace and Flight Path Design for Western Sydney International Airport PIC
Methods of notification of the issue of a PIC
In addition to the table above, the issuance of a PIC will be notified to suppliers in the following manner:
Notification when using AusTender
Notification will depend on the stage of the Approach to Market (ATM) at which the PIC is issued.
- If the PIC is issued before the request documentation is released, a copy of the PIC will be provided with the ATM documentation.
- If the PIC is issued while the ATM is open, suppliers will be notified through an ATM addendum that a PIC has been issued. A copy of the PIC will be provided with the addendum.
- If the PIC is issued after the ATM has closed, potential suppliers that submitted a response will be notified and issued with a copy of the PIC.
Details of the PIC that has been issued will also be published on the department’s website.
Notification when not using AusTender
Where an ATM is not required to be published on AusTender (for example, a Limited Tender) the suppliers will be advised in the same way as the initial ATM that a PIC has been issued, and suppliers will be provided with a copy of the PIC as soon as practicable after the PIC has been issued.