In a great example of inter-council and inter-regional co-operation, Waikato Local Authority Shared Services Ltd. (WLASS) and Bay of Plenty LASS (BOPLASS) have worked together to develop and implement an online pre-qualification scheme that uses simple software to capture contractors’ health and safety management systems and insurance details.
Sally Davis (WLASS CEO) says “This is a true shared service that can be used nationally as part of a drive to better manage councils’ contractors in the new health and safety environment. It also saves councils considerable time and money, as the scheme is fully managed by the software provider.”
The prequalification scheme has been developed over the past 12 months by local government staff specifically for use by local government, and is now in use by most of the councils across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Other councils from throughout New Zealand have indicated that they are also keen to participate and will join as soon as the scheme is made available nationally, in March 2017.
The scheme enables participating councils to be certain that all contractors working for or on their council’s assets, and/or supplying services, have effective health and safety systems in place, to prevent harm to people and the environment or damage to property.
For contractors, the benefit of this new scheme is that it will make them compliant to work for all participating councils and remove the need to supply separate details to each council or for each contract sought. In essence, it allows contractors to “do it once and do it right”, saving them time and money.
Contractors simply need to complete an on-line questionnaire and provide their health and safety documentation to show that they understand and comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and any associated Regulations. The portal can be accessed at: https://payments.sheassure.net/ and a link is made available on every participating council’s website.
There is a small cost to contractors to become prequalified, with a sliding scale ranging from $180 – $900 (depending on the number of staff employed by the contractor), which is payable every two years. Monitoring insurance policies attracts another $25 per policy per annum.
Applications are evaluated by a health and safety professional against a set of compliance criteria. Once the evaluator is satisfied with the contractor’s health and safety management systems, the contractor receives a confirmation email advising of their ‘approved’ status.
Once a contractor is ‘pre-qualified,’ their status is valid for two years and they will be eligible to work at all participating councils. Automatic email notifications are sent two months prior to the expiry of any pre-qualification.
Insurance checks are conducted annually and new certificates are requested as existing insurances expire. Participating councils will not allow contractors to carry out work for them if a contractor cannot prove that they are adequately and appropriately insured.
Site-specific safety plans will still be required when physical work is to be carried out and council representatives are still required to monitor the performance of each contractor.
Each council sets its own deadline as to when all relevant contractors are required to be pre-qualified – that information is made available from each council’s health and safety staff or on the council’s website.
As contractors become pre-qualified, company/industry details become accessible on a shared database. This provides visibility to contractors and council staff to identify who is approved, assisting with tendering processes and council procurement.
The scheme will be available to all councils throughout New Zealand from March 2017.
For more information, contact:
New Zealand Manager
027 807 6367