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21 April 2013 | Helen Gilbert
Australian suppliers secured approximately AUS$32 billion (£21.6 billion) in federal government contracts during 2011-12, research has shown.
The figure – which represents 78 per cent of the federal government’s total procurement spend of around $41 billion (£27.6 billion) was uncovered by business consultancy Protiviti - which analysed AusTender data for the last two financial years covering contracts worth more than $10,000 (£6,758).
The report revealed Australian suppliers delivered more than 98 per cent of services-based contracts to the government - worth almost $23 billion (£15.5 billion) – in 2011-12, while almost 80 per cent of procured goods (excluding defence procurement) involved local firms.
Small and medium enterprises also secured more than $16 billion (£10.8 billion) in government contracts during the last financial year.
“Of the more than 80,000 contracts the government entered into in 2011-12, nearly 40 per cent were with small businesses,” minister for finance and deregulation, minister for finance and deregulation Penny Wong said.
“This is four times more than our target that agencies source at least 10 per cent of all contracts, by value, from small businesses.”
Minister for small business, Gary Gray, welcomed the figures.
“These results show that Australian small businesses are delivering innovation and quality in the goods and services they provide to government,” he said.
Last year, the Labor party government introduced new rules to ensure government agencies pay SME contracts on time – now small firms automatically receive interest on an outstanding payment where an agency fails to pay an invoice on time.