The Fair Work Ombudsman website requires JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript on your browser.

The Inquiry’s methodology

In conducting the Inquiry, the FWO exercised statutory functions as set out in subsections 682(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FW Act.

During the course of the Inquiry, FWO undertook a number of activities including:

Preliminary stage:

  • collaborating with both ASIAL and United Voice in designing the compliance and education elements of the Inquiry
  • meeting with four local government associations to outline the rationale for, and objectives of, the Inquiry as well as encourage awareness of the same throughout the association’s respective networks
  • developing and publishing a range of information and education products relating to local government procurement best practice on www.fairwork.gov.au in late 2014.

Inquiry stage:

  • holding meetings in 2015 with representatives from the state-based local government associations to confirm their ongoing cooperation and obtain a deeper understanding of the procurement processes adopted by local governments in their respective states
  • securing additional input from United Voice and ASIAL during the course of the Inquiry to ensure FWO interventions were relevant and appropriate
  • engaging with 23 selected Councils, both metropolitan and regional:
    • QLD – Brisbane City Council, Logan City Council, Gold Coast City Council
    • NSW – Sydney City Council, Penrith City Council, North Sydney Council, Bankstown City Council, Mosman Council, Wollongong City Council, City of Wagga Wagga, Tamworth Regional Council
    • NT – Alice Springs Town Council, City of Darwin
    • SA – Adelaide City Council, Adelaide Hills Council, Barossa Council
    • WA – City of Perth, Town of Cambridge
    • TAS – City of Hobart, Kingborough Council
    • VIC – Melbourne City Council, Moreland City Council, Ballarat City Council
  • interviewing Council procurement officials regarding the terms of their procurement arrangements and requesting records relating thereto
  • interviewing the principal contractors who provided the security services regarding their tendering processes, including the nature of their records, direct employee entitlements, and how they engage subcontractors
  • interviewing the subcontractors regarding their employment practices and their contracting arrangements with the principal contractors
  • conducting visits to the sites that were staffed by security employees of the 49 businesses subjected to audits
  • interviewing employees regarding their understanding of their legal entitlements, where relevant
  • requesting time and wage records from all principal contractors and subcontractors for a one-month sample period
  • reviewing records and information obtained from interviews with labour supply chain participants to identify if employees received the appropriate entitlements
  • analysing and testing contractual documentation
  • calculating wages for a sample period to determine if employees were paid correctly.