Frequently asked questions
Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APiC) is a NSW Government policy designed to encourage the construction industry to create opportunities for Aboriginal people, Aboriginal owned businesses and Aboriginal communities. APiC applies to most construction and professional services contracts over $1 million. The key requirement of APiC is that a minimum of 1.5% of the total contract value, minus exclusions, must be directed to Aboriginal employment, Aboriginal businesses, training and engagement and consultation.
The policy aligns with Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment (OCHRE), the NSW Government’s plan to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people across all sectors of the community.
APiC is an opportunity for the NSW Government and businesses to create a legacy for diversity and inclusion in NSW by growing Aboriginal participation through increased education and construction work opportunities. APiC also provides the opportunity to enable and grow Aboriginal businesses throughout NSW via government projects.
Roads and Maritime Services continues to support Aboriginal participation through encouraging apprentices and trainees within our workforce and working with our delivery partners on targeted road projects but we are now adopting a wider industry focus through APiC.
The revised policy commenced on 1 July 2018, replacing the 2016 Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APiC) Policy.
Projects nominated by an agency that are primarily directed to one or more Aboriginal communities. This includes projects where an Aboriginal community is the sole or predominant beneficiary, is a key user group or a predominant stakeholder.
All other construction projects where the estimated value is over $10 million.
All other construction projects where the estimated value is over $1 million.
From 1 July 2016, most new major contracts issued by Roads and Maritime have included a Target Project Spend (TPS) for Aboriginal participation of 1.5% or greater of the awarded contract price less agreed exclusions.
From 1 July 2018, a revised APIC Policy has been in place that replaces the TPS with a minimum Aboriginal participation spend amount of 1.5% or greater of the awarded contract price less agreed exclusions, places new restrictions on the types of expenditure that are eligible to be reported against the Aboriginal participation spend, and that introduces penalties for contractors not meeting their Minimum Aboriginal participation spend targets.
Contractors must now submit their Aboriginal Participation Plan with their tender. Aboriginal Participation Plans will be reviewed by the Aboriginal Engagement Team in your region who will also be available to provide guidance and support for project managers and contractors.
Contractors must provide their quarterly Aboriginal participation results each January, April, July, and October to the RMS Project Manager.
Expenditure that is eligible to count towards the Minimum Aboriginal Participation Spend target includes:
- Aboriginal employment
- Engagement of Aboriginal owned businesses
- Education and training for Aboriginal employees, or expenses for the development and delivery of Aboriginal education programs and courses to its employees
- Engagement or consultation with Aboriginal organisations or businesses
Eligible spend categories have replaced the previous direct and indirect spend types.
Exclusions are to be determined by RMS and may include:
- Specialised capital equipment (eg tunnel exhaust fans, tunnel boring machines, batch plants) where no suitable Australian supplier exists in the market
- Materials imported from overseas where no suitable Australian supplier exists in the market
- Existing and/or new non-project specific assets provided by the Principal to the contract
- Property (eg acquisitions, indirect leasing costs, extra land, adjustments)
- Non-construction related services.
A Minimum Aboriginal Participation Spend (MAPS) is an amount a contractor must spend on Aboriginal employment and education activities directly related to the project’s planning, design or delivery related to the project that contribute to the education and employment goals outlined in Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment (OCHRE).
Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment (OCHRE) is the NSW Government’s plan to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people across all areas of the community. More information on the plan can be found here.
From 1 July 2018, Roads and Maritime will apply the policy to:
- All projects nominated by Roads and Maritime that are primarily directed to one or more Aboriginal community (Category 1 contracts as defined by the policy) add link
- D&C contracts
- GC21 (major construct-only) contracts
- Alliance contracts
- C61 major supply contracts
- Major Professional Services Contractor contracts (C71 and C72)
Your first point of contact should be the Senior Aboriginal Engagement Specialist in your area.
Yes, the following contracts will be excluded from the policy:
- Roads and Maritime Non-Construction Industry Professional Service Contracts and panels, on the basis that the services are specialised
- Roads and Maritime utility adjustment work contracts on the basis that the utilities set their own panels
- Specific projects that are excluded under the Policy
- All Roads and Maritime multiple year Panel and Term Services arrangements executed before 1 June 2015.
A TPS is calculated for different Roads and Maritime contracts as follows:
- Subject to agreement by Roads and Maritime and the Contractor, the MAPS can be re-set during the contract, when legitimate Exclusions were not captured prior to contract award.
- Contract Value means the value (exclusive of GST) at the time of contract award. Where the contract is being delivered under the umbrella project arrangement (eg Woolgoolga to Ballina), Roads and Maritime may determine that the MAPS will be calculated at the project level, rather than at the contract level (ie TPS = 1.5% of the estimated Project Value – Project Exclusions).
Yes, Roads and Maritime has included an indicative TPS in its major forms of contract since 1 May 2015. The 1.5% target became a mandatory minimum across all government agencies on 1 July 2018.
Suppliers must allocate the minimum 1.5 per cent, or a higher percentage as agreed with the contracting agency, of project spend to eligible spend. There are four types of eligible spend for Aboriginal participation: employment, engagement of Aboriginal owned businesses, education / training and engagement / consultation.
Contractors must also prepare an Aboriginal Participation Plan (APP) and regular Aboriginal Participation Reports (APR) to meet policy and Roads and Maritime requirements. Aboriginal Participation Plans will be reviewed by Aboriginal Engagement Team in your region which will provide guidance and support for Project Managers and Contractors.
Revised APiC applies to all new tenders and those being assessed after 1 July 2018. Roads and Maritime tender and contract documents have been amended and now require the tenderer to:
- Provide evidence of its ability to meet the obligations of the policy and include APiC performance outcomes on other Roads and Maritime and/or NSW Government contracts that it has completed
- Nominate proposed exclusions for determining the MAPS.
- Include details of achieving targets in quarterly progress reports (as appropriate)
No, ongoing Roads and Maritime contracts awarded after June 2016 and before July 2018 need to comply with the 2016 Aboriginal Participation in Construction policy.
Roads and Maritime Construct Only, Design and Construct and Minor contracts awarded after May 2015 but before July 2016 have an indicative TPS target of 1.5% of contract value.
The compulsory TPS included in Roads and Maritime contracts from 1 July 2016 will not be retrofitted to contracts awarded before 1 July 2018.
An Aboriginal Participation Plan (APP) must be developed by the contractor to outline APiC initiatives that will be carried out during the project.
Aboriginal Participation Plans are part of the tender response and approved by the contracting agency. The requirements of the approved plan are to be entered in the APIC policy reporting portal and reported against as per the APIC policy reporting requirements.
For C41 Term Services Contracts (including multiple year arrangements) a Contractor is able to provide an annual APP, rather than the APP for each engagement during the Term. The annual APP is to detail the initiatives that will be carried out for the next 12 months. The annual APP must be submitted to Roads and Maritime at least 30 days prior to the Term Services Contract award anniversary date.
Suppliers must provide an Aboriginal Participation Plan specific to each project and report to the RMS Project Manager. Reports are required quarterly in January, April, July and October.
A final Aboriginal Participation Report must be provided to the RMS Project Manager at the completion of the construction project and identify if Aboriginal participation requirements were met.
Tenderers will be requested to provide evidence of their ability to meet the obligations of the Policy and include APiC performance outcomes on other Roads and Maritime and/or NSW Government contracts that they have completed. Roads and Maritime will consider contractors’ demonstrated capacity to meet the obligations of the Policy when assessing tenders.
A copy of the APiC policy is available to view or download on the ProcurePoint website.
For more information, email APiC@rms.nsw.gov.au.