New one-stop-shop to streamline system for finding council contracts

Orange City Council has launched a new online system to streamline the system for local contractors, tradies, consultants and hire companies to pick up work and contract jobs with the Council.

Currently there are more than 250 businesses on lists which Orange City Council uses to seek quotes to complete work.

During the last financial year, Orange City Council spent $18 million with companies and contractors from the local area in the last financial year. The services ranged from consultancies to equipment hire and painting.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the new online approach comes at just the right time for businesses doing it tough during the COVID-19 crisis.

“During this time, many local businesses are short-staffed,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “It can take a lot of time to prepare a competitive quote to bid for a council job, and then on top of that, the business’ staff has to compile all the necessary paperwork. This easy online approach, makes the task a lot simpler.”

“This new system comes on top of a recent change by the Council to give a price discount when awarding contracts to locally-based business. The Council has got to get the best deal with rate-payers money but it makes sense for the money to stay here in Orange.”

Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Committee chair Cr Tony Mileto said the new system strikes the right balance.

“The Council is spending ratepayers’ money so it’s fair enough that we have to be sure all the appropriate qualifications, work health & safety regulations and insurances are in place,” Cr Tony Mileto. “Any business which does contract work with Orange City Council has to comply with council policies which apply to that setting. “

“It’s all important, but I’m sure some operators would agree the time it takes to compile all the paper-work to prove the required measures are in place can sometimes be onerous.”

“The beauty of this one-stop-shop approach is that once a business has entered all those compliance details into the online system, they’re there for good. Then, they can simply spend their time working out the most attractive price they can to quote for the job, and know that the compliance boxes have been ticked.”

The new contractor management platform is called Felix. The Council now wants suitably qualified contractors, consultants, hire companies and IT specialists to register on the Orange City Council website.

“Registering on Felix lets a business operator lodge their business and compliance information for all current and future projects at the one time. They can also indicate the categories of work they are willing to do.

“The Felix system will let Council issue its ‘Requests for Quotation’ through the platform directly to businesses who are interested in that sort of work. The contractor or consultant can then decide if they want to submit or decline an RFQ.

“There’s the added convenience, that the Felix system will send each business an email reminder if their insurance is about to fall due.”

The Council has five categories or work, called ‘panels’, each with many sub-categories. The five main categories are:

  • Civil works
  • Trade & services
  • Consultants
  • Hire
  • IT

The Felix system is free to use.

A business can choose to register in more than one category. If a company can’t find a suitable category that matches their business, they can check with the council by sending an email to  quotations@orange.nsw.gov.au

The Felix system is not used when the council seeks tenders for the purchase of equipment such as cars or heavy machinery.

Contractors have until the 15 May 2020 to get registered with Felix. After that deadline, the Council will start issuing ‘Requests for Quotation’ through this platform.

 

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