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 Purchasing legal services

From 1 July 2018, Legal Services Multi-Use List (LSMUL) requirements no longer apply to external legal services. The replacement procurement arrangement for government legal services is anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2019.

Legal services providers

The Whole of Australian Government Legal Services Panel is being established as a coordinated procurement. The Department of Finance (Procurement Management Branch, Insurance and Procurement Division), is managing this procurement project for the Attorney-General's Department.

Request for Tender (RFT) FIN20/18 to Establish a Legal Services Panel for the Australian Government was published on AusTender on 8 November 2018 and closed on 17 December 2018.

The opportunity to submit a tender in response to this RFT has now closed.

Questions about the Australian Government Legal Services Panel must be directed to the Department of Finance at legalservicespanel@finance.gov.au.

Interim arrangements for entities

Entities needing to procure legal services must do so in accordance with the Commonwealth procurement framework (including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and guidance issued by the Department of Finance). Each agency ordinarily has a central procurement area as part of their Chief Financial Officer or corporate services area, which can advise agencies on standard procurement processes.

To allow an orderly transition to the panel, agencies may:

  1. exercise options to extend their existing parcelling arrangements (where these options exist) to 31 December 2019, or
  2. extend by variation, the term of their existing parcelling arrangements to 31 December 2019.

Any extension of existing arrangements should take into consideration that agencies should commence the transition to the panel arrangements when they are established.

There is guidance on the Finance website about extending a contract via a variation at contract end dates.    

Accessing legal services through other agency parcelling arrangements

A number of agencies have parcelling arrangements in place with legal service providers that will extend over the transition period. Agencies that do not have such arrangements in place may wish to 'piggyback' off these arrangements. For the purposes of facilitating piggybacking, OLSC has prepared the document below that provides an indicative list of the current parcelling arrangements across a number of Commonwealth agencies. Smaller agencies are encouraged to consider piggyback arrangements over the transition period.

For information regarding piggybacking arrangements, visit Department of Finance website.

Commonwealth Contracting Suite

From 1 January 2016, the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS) applies to all non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs). Corporate Commonwealth entities are encouraged to apply this policy.

For the engagement of counsel, Resource Management Guideline 420 provides that use of the CCS is optional when industry practice uses different terms and conditions.​​​​​​​​​​​