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17 October 2013 | Helen Gilbert
Local businesses in south Australia are being afforded greater opportunities to win government contracts following the latest in a series of reforms to the state government’s tender and procurement processes.
The changes come on the back of the Industry Participation Policy, a scheme introduced last July which gives local businesses reasonable opportunities to tender and participate in significant public and private sector projects.
New measures include reducing the insurance compliance costs for small businesses winning low risk government contracts up to AUS$1 million (£597,000), and establishing a single pre-qualifying tender process across all government agencies so companies are only required to provide information once.
At least one local quote will be required on contracts of up to AUS$220,000 (£131,379) making it easier for businesses to win smaller government contracts, while significantly more projects will be covered under the Industry Participation Policy.
Tom Kenyon, manufacturing, innovation and trade minister, said the policy had been designed to achieve maximum economic benefit from almost AUS$4 billion (£2.3 billion) of contracts let by the state government each year, adding that the views of local businesses had been taken into account.
“[The reforms are] about opening up government tender processes, making them less complicated, streamlining procedures, cutting red tape and making it easier for our local business to compete on an equal footing,” he said.
“We’ve heard consistently from business about concerns over the costs associated with continually pre-qualifying for tenders and how each government agency has different requirements. We’ve heard their concerns and will initiate these policy changes in recognition of the contribution these local businesses make to the strength of our economy.”