Companies (entities with an Australian Company Number) are eligible to apply for “Full” prequalification. At the absolute discretion of each Participating Agency, “Conditional” prequalification, where the Applicant does not fully comply with every specified criterion, may be granted.
Civil engineering construction companies that possess relevant experience in the construction of roads and bridge structures are eligible to apply for prequalification.
Incorporated joint ventures
An incorporated joint venture is a separate legal entity that may have been formed specifically to undertake a project or projects. The entity may draw upon the resources (technical and/or financial) of the entities supporting the joint venture.
An incorporated joint venture applying for prequalification must meet the criteria for prequalification in its own right.
Assessing agencies recognise that a newly formed joint venture may have difficulty satisfying some of the financial criteria (such as profit performance) and will therefore apply the same principles regarding newly formed companies.
Where an applicant does not meet every specified eligibility criteria the applicant may be granted “Conditional” Prequalification.
Examples of Conditional Prequalification include:
- Where the applicant does not meet the financial criteria in its own right, but the assessing agency is satisfied that financial stability can be ensured though the provision of a deed of guarantee from a parent company and / or an additional unconditional undertaking from an approved financial institution.
- Where a newly formed company, which has suitably experienced personnel and satisfies the requirements for systems and other resources, is unable to satisfy all of the past experience criteria, but the assessing agency considers that the company is competent to undertake the work.
The granting of Conditional Prequalification is at the absolute discretion of the assessing agency and other participation agencies are under no obligation to recognise Conditional Prequalification.
Providing the conditionally prequalified contractor continues to comply with the nominated conditions of their prequalification, they will be eligible to tender for contracts in the categories and financial level they are conditionally prequalified in.
Unincorporated Joint Ventures
The granting of prequalification to unincorporated joint ventures is at the sole discretion of each participating agency. Unincorporated joint ventures are only eligible for “Conditional” Prequalification and other participating agencies may elect to not mutually recognise these entities.
Austroads recognises there will be difficulties for overseas based companies in establishing operations within Australia.
Some of the challenges faced by the company may include:
- the cost of establishing operations with no guarantee of immediate work;
- the need to mobilise staff quickly after contracts are awarded in order to meet contractual time obligations;
- a lack of knowledge and experience with local conditions;
- having no established relationships with local suppliers (materials and plant) and subcontractors;
- a lack of knowledge of local legislation including environmental and work health and safety legislation; and
- a lack of familiarity with the assessing agency’s standard forms of contract and specifications.
Overseas applicants for prequalification should include a submission outlining how the company proposes to manage the above issues.
As with Australian companies that seek prequalification, the overseas company must apply for prequalification in the name of the entity that they will be entering into contracts in Australia and provide information relevant to that particular entity. The technical information must be relevant to road and bridge construction and there must be a clear link between the work undertaken by the Australian entity and the overseas company.
The overseas company must clearly explain and demonstrate their specific involvement in any Joint Ventures or any other type of multi contractual work.
The following requirements also apply to overseas applicants:
- The applicant must be a registered business within Australia and must nominate their Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Registered Business Number (ARBN) in their application.
- Submission of 3 years of audited accounts prepared in accordance with international accounting and auditing standards.
- Independently audited financial statements no more than 3 months old must be submitted in support of financial data supplied.
- Financial accounts must be in $US, € or a currency which is acceptable to the assessing agency. The independent auditor must be an organisation which is recognised by the assessing agency’s financial advisors.
- Where an assessing agency does not have full confidence in the accuracy of the financial statement, it reserves the right to reject the application or request certain securities in addition to the normal contract securities.
- The applicant must hold and maintain a bank account in Australia with an Australian bank; or a foreign bank with a full banking licence in Australia and permanent branches established in Australia.
- Written applications for prequalification must be submitted in English and key personnel nominated in the application must be fluent in speaking English.
Prequalification does not extend to related or subsidiary companies or entities of a prequalified contractor. Any such company or entity must apply for prequalification in its own right.
Where two or more related companies apply for prequalification, resources are deemed to be allocated to a single company and cannot be considered in the assessment of the other companies.
The following are ineligible for prequalification under the NPS:
- project management companies (i.e. the company has no internal construction resources and outsources all of the site work);
- trusts and trustees;
- natural persons; and
Where a participating agency manages prequalification systems for specialist categories (for example, asphalt and spray sealing), other participating agencies may elect to not mutually recognise this prequalification.