Page 2859 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013

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weighting against whether the tenderer is a small or medium-size enterprise—an SME—and/or their involvement with local business.

For requests for tender for procurements over $200,000 tenderers will be required to indicate if they are a local SME, and, if they are not a local SME, whether they will be subcontracting a local SME. Businesses with up to 200 full-time equivalent employees based within the South East Regional Organisation of Councils are defined as local SMEs. If a tenderer is an SME, a default five per cent rating will be applied. The weighting may be increased to 10 per cent on a case-by-case basis.

Where the tenderer is not an SME but will be subcontracting to a regional SME, a weighting from one to five per cent will be applied based on the proportion of the total value of the contract to be undertaken by the subcontractor. In this scenario, confirmation of the subcontracted arrangement with the SEROC SME will be required as part of the tender.

For requests for quotation for procurements under $200,000 that will be undertaken by ACT government directorates, respondents will be evaluated on three standard criteria: capability, capacity and affordability. Once these criteria have been considered, directorates will then evaluate the respondents’ SME status or SME involvement based on the same principles in the request for tender process.

To improve awareness and access to procurement opportunities amongst local SMEs the new policy has been advertised on the Shared Services Procurement website as well as through the Canberra Business Council and all SEROC councils. The outcomes of the policy will be tracked from the policy implementation date with regional SMEs and organisations identified on the contracts register and significant value to the ACT region highlighted in the ensuing contracts.

This policy has been informed by consultation with the community and with relevant stakeholders, particularly through the Canberra Business Council. The policy has been designed so that it does not add to the cost of tendering and does not detract from value for money and safety considerations, and this weighting will give local businesses an important boost to their chances of winning contracts to supply goods and services to the territory government, thereby helping them to create and grow local jobs.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, how will this policy assist local businesses?

MR BARR: There are in the vicinity of 25,000 SMEs in the territory and they all stand to benefit from this policy if they are tendering to supply goods and services to the territory government. The ACT government spends in the vicinity of $1 billion annually on goods and services. This means that there is a significant opportunity for the government to assist regional small and medium enterprises when tendering for contracts.

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