Page 2663 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 13—government response

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Industrial Relations and Treasurer) (3.27): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 13—Inquiry into ACT Government Procurement—Government response, dated June 2011.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

The government thanks the committee for the report on its inquiry into ACT government procurement and is pleased to note that, overall, the report is supportive of the territory’s centralised approach to procurement.

The committee made 25 recommendations in its report. The government have agreed to nine recommendations, agreed in principle to four, agreed in part to three, we have noted seven and we have not agreed to two of the recommendations. I will address the most significant actions in relation to these recommendations.

The government has agreed to the report’s recommendation to raise to $25,000 the threshold at which agencies undertaking a procurement are to use Shared Services Procurement’s services. This will align that threshold with the one by which an agency must seek a minimum of three quotations, as set out in the Government Procurement Regulation. The report recommended alignment of the threshold at which agencies are required to seek more than one quotation before proceeding with a purchasing decision, and the threshold at which agencies are required to seek Shared Services Procurement’s management services for a purchase.

The government agrees to this recommendation and takes it further in deciding to align these two thresholds with the threshold for notifying contracts on the contracts register. Raising the notifiable contracts threshold was not a recommendation in the report. However, the government considers that aligning these three thresholds—for notifying contracts, for seeking Shared Services Procurement’s services and for seeking more than one quotation—will be administratively tidier and simpler than having different thresholds.

The government will establish a mechanism so that in future a change to any of these thresholds will automatically result in a change to all three. The government has agreed in part to the report’s recommendation that the quotation and tender thresholds be reviewed and updated regularly. The government will review these thresholds no less than once every three years to ensure that they remain relevant. However, it is unlikely that thresholds will change this frequently. The costs and inconvenience, to both government and the business community, would not be justified by any incremental threshold changes, which would be likely if adjustments are made this

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