Western Australia’s new procurement framework has come into effect this week, which the state government says will promote consistent policies and practices and make it easier for businesses to work with government.
The framework brings together goods, services and works procurement under one piece of legislation, and aims to cut red tape.
The Procurement Act 2020 underpins the new framework, and is supported by a separate social procurement framework that prioritises the state’s social, economic and environmental policies.
Finance minister Tony Buti said the improved procurement model would make it easier for more small and medium sized businesses to work with government.
“The act encourages local businesses to bid on government projects by streamlining the procurement system, therefore reducing the cost attributed to procurement,” he said
Buti has also announced that provisions for a debarment regime are expected to be introduced later this year. The regime will help ensure the WA government only works with ethical suppliers and contractors, and will provide businesses with the best opportunity to work with government.
The procurement changes have been based on recommendations made by the Service Priority Review and the Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects, which found the previous procurement framework to be fragmented and difficult to navigate.
Last year, the Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission also called for reforms to prevent widespread corruption impacting the state’s procurement of goods and services.
Buti has thanked everyone who has supported and contributed to the procurement reform project, which he noted took many months.
“This consultation involved industry, including regional businesses and peak organisations, the community services sector, procurement practitioners and agency leaders from across the public sector,” he said.
The Department of Finance has developed new procurement documents and guidance material following consultation with government agencies and industry.
This article was first published by The Mandarin.