10 October 2008
The Rudd Government today released the revised Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines which take effect from 1 December 2008.
The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines represent the policy framework under which agencies govern and undertake their own procurement. Chief Executives are responsible for the management of the individual agencies; however they are also required to manage within the context of the Government’s policy framework.
The Minister for Finance and Deregulation, the Hon Lindsay Tanner MP said: “The Government awards contracts totalling about $30 billion a year to procure goods and services. These Guidelines focus on value for money and how it may be achieved by agencies when undertaking procurement.”
The Guidelines also inform departments and agencies about the Government’s policy for new Coordinated Procurement Contracting Arrangements.
Lindsay Tanner said: “There are some goods and services that all or most agencies buy and the purchase of those items is not coordinated across the government.”
“The Rudd Government is committed to delivering savings and efficiencies through arrangements for coordination of government procurement contracts.”
“Improved value for money will be achieved through aggregation of government demand and negotiating whole-of-government procurement contracts in variety of core government areas, such as IT, professional services and travel.”
Where the Government establishes coordinated procurement contracting for a particular property or service, agencies must use the contract established for that property or service unless an exemption has been provided. These arrangements will reduce duplication between agencies in meeting common procurement requirements and provide the ability for the Government to use its combined purchasing power to improve value for money.
Mr Tanner said: “To enhance transparency, agencies must make available on request, the names of any sub-contractor engaged by a contractor in respect of a Commonwealth contract for procurement.”
The Rudd Government is also committed to implementing measures to assist Australian small businesses to gain access to the Australian Government procurement market.
Lindsay Tanner said: “Where it is sensible to do so, we will be looking to standardise procurement documents to ensure consistency in format, content, application and contracts. These documents will make it easier for small businesses to sell their goods and services to the Australian Government. My Department has already developed Source IT contract templates for Australian Government agencies for a range of simple ICT procurements.
Agencies will also be required to review operations with a focus on simplifying procurement processes, particularly examining potential to reduce burdens for SMEs participating in tenders.
Lindsay Tanner said: "The release of the Procurement Guidelines is only the beginning. We are looking to continuously improve the Commonwealth's procurement framework to ensure that procurement processes are conducted efficiently and effectively.”
"We want to deliver overall savings to the Australian Government and, therefore, value for taxpayers.”
|Nardia Dazkiw - 0418 144 690||www.financeminister.gov.au|
The following is a summary of the main changes to the guidelines: