First inquiry referred to SA Productivity Commission

The State Liberal Government has acted swiftly to refer an independent inquiry into government procurement to the newly established South Australian Productivity Commission.

This is the Government’s first referral to the Productivity Commission in a move that highlights the new Government’s commitment to implementing reforms that enable South Australian businesses to better participate in government procurement and improve overall productivity in the state.

Premier Steven Marshall said that the Productivity Commission will focus on reform options to improve procurement practices and the impact of procurement on local industry output and employment.

“The Productivity Commission has a critical role in getting the State Government’s finances and the South Australian economy back on track,” said Premier Marshall.

“The Government’s first referral to the independent Productivity Commission sends an important signal to the business community that we are focused on making it easier for them to participate in government procurement.

“What we know is that the small business sector has indicated that the procurement process for goods and services is too costly and labour intensive. We want this issue addressed and improved.

“I expect the Commission will consult with a large cross section of small and medium South Australian businesses, the Small Business Commissioner, Industry Advocate, State Procurement Board, key business associations and industry representation as part of the public engagement process.”

The Premier has written to Dr Matthew Butlin, the Chair of the South Australian Productivity Commission asking that the inquiry:

1. Consider the time and costs associated with procurement.

2. Assess the level of compliance by public authorities with the government procurement policies, guidelines, principles, standards and directions.

3. Consider the appropriateness of procurement governance and reporting arrangements.

4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Industry Participation Policy.

5. Examine the risk management framework used by public agencies to evaluate supplier bids.

6. Consider contemporary procurement practice in other jurisdictions and the private sector.

All interested parties and stakeholders are invited to get involved in the Commission’s work, which will provide an independent report and recommendations to the Government by May 2019.

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