Buying outside of contracts

NSW Government agencies must use whole-of-government contracts and mandated prequalification schemes for obtaining the goods or services to which they apply. This is set out by Procurement Board Direction 2012-02.

Where there is no NSW Government contract or mandated scheme, agencies can do their own procurement or use other agencies' arrangements.

Requirements vary according to the value and risk of the procurement. Please see Procurement Board Direction 2016-01.


Some exceptions include:

  • purchases from disability employment organisations
  • purchases up to $250,000 from Aboriginal businesses on prequalification schemes for goods and services, per the Aboriginal Procurement Policy
  • purchases up to $5,000 from local sources for agencies in non-metropolitan areas
  • purchases up to $5,000 for NSW public schools*. School principals can buy from whole-of-government contracts, the Department of Education’s online catalogue or from an alternate supplier, if it provides better value.

* NSW public schools should seek guidance from the Department of Education Procurement Support Centre on 1300 32 32 32 for any purchasing questions.