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Home Features Tom Burton: Abbott’s new procurement game changer
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PEOPLEHelvi Sandvick, Marla Stuart-Fox, Stan Fleming
COMPANIESNANA, Supply Nation
DEPARTMENTSDepartment of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
TAGS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, economic development, Indigenous, Procurement, remote employment
New federal procurement rules are set to drive major changes in indigenous development and create a model for using the Commonwealth’s $39 billion annual spend to promote other minorities and small business entrepreneurs.
The release of the detail of the new indigenous procurement policy with a mandatory 3% target and compulsory set-aside for indigenous businesses contracts is a game changer for Commonwealth procurement and indigenous development.
For the first time ever, there is a hard mandated target, detailed rule changes for a large swag of contract opportunities and mandatory employment requirements for contracts above $7.5 million for a wide range of contract types.
If the US experience is anything to go by, this fundamental change has the potential to create a major and sustaining economic development model for indigenous communities.
The policy is revolutionary, the first time at Commonwealth level where a mandated procurement target has been created to drive a broader development objective. It represents a far more activist approach to using Canberra’s $39 billion procurement budget as a driver of economic development and is a landmark change for the indigenous community. It is also a clear example of the priority Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given to aboriginal development.
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Tom Burton is publisher of The Mandarin based in Sydney. He has served in various public administration roles, specialising in digital engagement. He was a Walkley Award-winning journalist and executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He worked as Canberra bureau chief for the Australian Financial Review and as managing editor of smh.com.au. He most recently worked at the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
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