Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 June 2011) . . Page.. 2664 ..
frequently. Instead, the government will keep a watching brief on thresholds and make changes as necessary.
As part of the government’s commitment to more transparency in process and information, the government is making improvements to the contracts register. Under the regulation a chief executive may exempt a procurement from the quotation and tender requirements if he or she considers the exemption will deliver a greater value for money outcome than would be achieved by complying with the requirements. To date the reasons for such exemptions for the external sourcing of labour and services with a value of $200,000 or more have been recorded in agencies annual reports. To build on that transparency the contracts register will be updated to include the reasons for exemptions from quotation and tender thresholds with a value of $25,000 or more for all procurement types. Accordingly the government has not agreed to the report’s recommendation to change the annual report directions to require what would be duplicated reporting of this information through that medium.
Also, where it is feasible to do so, social procurements would be identifiable on the contracts register. The report recommended that annual reports directions be amended to include identification of each agency’s contracts ensuing from social procurement. The report noted that government is faced with challenges in capturing or identifying the different forms of social procurement and building capability within its existing systems to support the capture, monitoring and recording of social procurement. The government considers the contracts register to be a suitable medium for reporting on such matters.
Until such time as definitions are developed and systems established, the government will rely on the contracts register to identify social procurements where this is feasible. While information on the contracts register relating to social procurements will not be very detailed, it will become possible to identify some with a value of $25,000 or more.
These two improvements of the contracts register will make the government’s procurement processes and outcomes even more transparent than they are currently.
The government has agreed to the report’s recommendation to provide the community sector with information on social procurement, and a very successful information session was recently co-hosted by the Community Services and Treasury directorates to raise the sector’s awareness of not just how social procurement may affect this sector as service providers to government but also how the sector could consider using social procurement themselves when purchasing goods and services.
Most of the report’s other agreed recommendations relate to current procurement practices. For example the government has for some time engaged with businesses of all sizes to assist in understanding the procurement framework and how to tender for government contracts. This work is ongoing and Shared Services Procurement in the Treasury Directorate works with other agencies such as the Economic Development Directorate to continually improve how government engages with different business groups. For example, the government is improving the capital works call tender schedule to make it easier for the building and construction industry to access