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:
- 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.
- 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.