Prizes for purchasing: there’s still time to enter the first ever APS procurement awards

By Stephen Easton

October 9, 2019

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There are now awards for federal public servants who feel they make the world a better place when they buy things, and they only have until October 11 to enter.

The Department of Finance’s Centre of Procurement Excellence wants to hear about “positive outcomes delivered to citizens, businesses and the Australian Government through procurement” and will present four awards to the top examples in mid-November.

Applications for the inaugural Commonwealth Procurement Awards for Excellence have been open since early September but one might suspect the field is fairly wide open, given the original closing date was previously extended to the end of this week.

Procurement officers must align each of their entries with a template for one of four categories:

  • Building entity capability
  • Delivering innovation through procurement
  • Engaging with risk
  • Engaging with small and medium enterprises

“The Awards program will help promote the important role procurement plays in delivering services and outcomes for government, citizens and the business community; develop case-studies to showcase the commitment to excellence and achieving value for money outcomes demonstrated by entities; and build a community of highly engaged procurement professionals,” according to the department’s information pack.

Entries must either relate to recent procurement deals, or to those done within the past two years where the benefits are still being realised, and need to be endorsed by at least a Band 1 senior executive or equivalent.

“Nomination is not restricted to the actual process or approach to buying goods or services and do not have to be for the end-to-end process,” says the centre of excellence.

“Entities are encouraged to consider other key elements such as stakeholder engagement, relationship and contract management, continuous improvement and application of lessons learned when identifying excellence in procurement.”

The judges will include “up to two Finance representatives, a representative from the business community and a representative from the Commonwealth or a state [or] territory government”. Shortlisted entries will give a 10-minute presentation to the panel, which will then have 15 minutes to ask further questions or request additional information.

There might be honourable mentions or highly commended entries along with the award winners, or if none of the entries are good enough in a particular category, there might not be any award at all.

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