NIAA provides new Indigenous Procurement Policy guidance

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday July 17, 2020

It gets very hot in Canberra.
It gets very hot in Canberra. (Fyle/Adobe)

Indigenous businesses have won more than $3.14 billion in contracts over the past five years through the federal government’s procurement policy, according to the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

NIAA on Thursday said that from July 2020, the Indigenous Procurement Policy’s (IPP) minimum mandatory requirements (MMRs) for Indigenous participation would be expanded to include 11 extra industry sectors, bringing the total to 19.

“As a result, even more large businesses, across more industries, will be looking to engage Indigenous businesses and job seekers,” the agency said.

The new sectors range from environmental to healthcare services, and manufacturing to mining services.

The IPP and accompanying guidance have been updated to include the new sectors, with the latter giving advice on IPP rules and policy settings.

One guide aims to help commonwealth procurement officials and contract managers conduct procurement activities that are subject to MMRs under the IPP. Another document has been designed to help private sector businesses tendering for Australian government contracts valued at $7.5 million or more.

The final guide includes provides draft model clauses to help commonwealth procurement officials and contract managers conduct procurement activities.

The updated resources also include a welcome pack for industry contractors, to assist them with using the IPP Reporting Solution Contractor Portal.

A fifth document aimed at Indigenous businesses is set to be released in August.

The IPP launched in July 2015 to provide Indigenous Australians with more opportunities to participate in the economy, through stimulating Indigenous entrepreneurship, business and economic development.

Since then, the federal government and its suppliers have awarded a total of 21,038 contracts to 2012 Indigenous businesses.

Earlier this year the national auditor-general reported that the Defence, Education, Employment, Home Affairs, and Infrastructure departments had failed to comply with targets set out by the IPP.

The auditor-general recommended NIAA develop “tailored guidance” on managing the MMRs throughout the contract lifecycle; implement a strategy to increase entity and contractor compliance with MMR reporting requirements to ensure information in the IPP Reporting Solution is complete; and put in place an evaluation strategy for the MMRs that outlines an approach to measuring the impact of the policy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and business outcomes.

Read more: Indigenous procurement targets undermined by implementation and compliance issues, audit finds


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