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17 May 2013 | Andy Allen
New Zealand is to introduce new rules on government procurement to make it easier for smaller companies to tender for public sector contracts and provide better value for money.
The new laws replace 44 different pieces of existing legislation, cabinet directives, and other guidance.
“By making it easier to compete for government contracts and making the tendering process consistent across the public service, we expect to make our procurement business more accessible to smaller local firms who previously may have been discouraged by the process,” said economic development minister Steven Joyce.
As part of the new process, the government will give more information about procurement opportunities and longer timeframes for responding to tenders. There will be greater use of model tender documents and contracts to streamline the tendering process.
Under the new regulations the emphasis will shift from who can deliver the lowest upfront costs on a contract to who can deliver the best value for money and other direct financial benefits over its lifetime.
Joyce said the life-cost consideration was likely to help local businesses at the expense of foreign competitors as their transaction and freight costs would be lower.
The new procurement rules come into force on 1 October and will apply to all public service departments, the New Zealand Police and the Defence Force.