The Marshall Liberal Government has announced its formal response to the final report of the SA Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Government Procurement (Stage 2) – which will result in one of the most significant reforms of the state’s procurement system in more than a decade.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Government has accepted all 60 of its recommendations – the majority in full – which identify ways to improve value to taxpayers by cutting red tape, simplify and streamline processes and make it easier for local businesses to tender for government work.
The centrepiece of the Government’s response will be the establishment of a new central procurement branch within the Department of Treasury and Finance to replace the State Procurement Board, and the repeal of the State Procurement Act 2004 in favour of a new, streamlined framework.
Mr Lucas said the framework will cover all government agencies and bring construction, goods and services procurement within a consistent, cohesive approach that maximises opportunities for local business participation and jobs creation.
It is intended for the framework to be finalised and implemented by September 2020.
“Each year, the Government spends more than $11 billion on purchasing goods, services and construction activities which has a significant positive impact on jobs, business activity and investment in South Australia,” said Mr Lucas.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to maximising the value to taxpayers from this expenditure while creating a unified and consistent approach to procurement across government that enhances opportunities for local industry and South Australian businesses to be involved.
“We thank the Commission and its Chair, Dr Matthew Butlin, for their hard work over many months.”
The new procurement branch – to be led by a senior executive who will report to the Treasurer via the chief executive – will also work with the Office of the Industry Advocate to reduce the complexity, time and costs to businesses involved in tendering for government work.
The Government’s response is available at https://www.dpc.sa.gov.au/resources- and-publications The Government has also announced its response to the Statutory Authorities Review Committee Inquiry into the State Procurement Board, with most of its 17 recommendations – which are consistent with those of the SAPC – accepted. The response will be available on the Parliamentary website. The SARC, which included Liberal, Labor and crossbench MLCs, also recommended the abolition of the State Procurement Board.