South Australia’s state procurement board has managed to source 90.2% of its goods and services spend from South Australia suppliers last year, up from 51% the year before, according to its latest annual report for 2014/15.
Minister for small business Martin Hamilton-Smith said the increase was largely due to the creation of a new post, the industry participation advocate.
The state government created the role in 2013 to ensure South Australian companies were awarded lucrative state government contracts wherever possible.
He also said major projects, awarded under South Australia’s industry participation policy, had led to more than 90% of sub-contracts being awarded to contractors where the majority of the dollar spend is in the state.
The IPP specifies that the state government must try to find a business in the state to fulfil all contracts worth more than AUS$22,000.
The state government also held a commercial acumen workshop trial for its senior managers to give staff a better understanding of the impact their decisions have on small business and was considering expanding this training to more staff.
The industry participation advocate has also been asked to investigate possible improvements to procurement practices to reduce the cost to business when tendering for state government work.
One improvement could be to reduce the delay between when a tender is released to the market and evaluating and awarding the tender, the state government said.
The industry participation advocate will recommend ways to identify local businesses with a high level of local labour prior to an invitation to tender to increase state business participation in government contracts.
In the report the board also said it had launched a three-year strategic plan to address economic and budgetary priorities, which will be made public next year.