NSW Government seeks SMEs in new procurement plan

The NSW Government has put the call out to the local small businesses, announcing a revised procurement policy to lure SMEs and regional companies.

The new policy urges NSW Government agencies to prioritise small to medium businesses when considering government suppliers.

For contracts up to $250,000, SMEs (classified as businesses with between one and 199 full-time employees) and regional businesses will be given full priority for procurement contracts.

Businesses that tender for contracts valued at more than $3 million will be required to meet certain “sustainability criteria” based on economic, ethical, environmental or social priorities of the Government, which will be continuously monitored for compliance.

For contracts under $3 million, where an agency seeks more than one quote, the Government will encourage agencies “to include a non-price evaluation criteria (sic) that addresses these government priorities.”

Martin Hoffman, Secretary of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, said the revised procurement process will improve opportunities for SMEs to secure Government tenders.

“We have consulted with small businesses and across Government to deliver a policy that includes a sustainable development focus and encourages a diverse supplier base,” Hoffman said.

Small to medium represent 99.8 per cent of all businesses in NSW, with one-third of Australia’s SMEs based in the state alone.

Since 2012, the Government said it had increased SME procurement by 20 per cent, compared with a 14 per cent increase overall.

The Government also revealed its intention to boost its online procurement capability, improving the design and accessibility of its tender website, NSW ProcurePoint, to improve use and navigability.

The Government has also committed to enhancing its cloud-based digital marketplace platform, buy.nsw, "making it easier to register as a supplier and for buyers to locate and purchase from local businesses."

The new procurement policy takes effect on 1 February 2019.


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