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Govt seeks feedback on procurement

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 09 April 2019, 2:47 pm

The New Zealand Government spends around $41 billion a year on procurement, so it makes sense that officials are keen to get the process right. It has this week opened the 2019 Business Survey and is seeking feedback from organisations that supply goods and services across any government department, ministry, crown entity, district health board, tertiary education institution or local authority.

A notice on GETS, the Government procurement website, says that feedback in the survey will help improve the process. Following last year's survey government officials established a set of initiatives to address some of the most common issues.

"One common theme last year was how crucial the procurement capability of individual procurement professionals is to the overall experience businesses have with government procurement. As such, the online Procurement Capability Index (PCI) tool was implemented in August 2018, for agencies to assess their capability and steer improvements. A Social Services Procurement Training Strategy was also recently developed and will, over the next 3 years, provide training in contract management for staff engaging with social service providers"

In last year's survey, businesses with 50 or more full time employees were the single biggest group of respondents, and of the total number who responded 14% answered that government business makes up 90% of their annual turnover.

"Smaller businesses participating in the survey seem more reliant on government business that larger businesses, but are less positive about the quality of government procurement and say they have the most trouble bidding effectively on government tenders," the report noted.

Despite the grumbles, last year's survey showed that business perception of government's procurement activity is improving, with the overall positive quality rating rising from the very low 15% in 2015 to the pretty low 34% in 2018.

"Positive ratings regarding the clarity and sufficiency of tender documentation substantially improved this year. There was also a clear increase in businesses who felt they could effectively bid on government contracts, indicating a possible correlation between improved tender documents and businesses feeling they can bid effectively," the report notes.

Will positive ratings continue to rise in 2019? You can have your say in the anonymous survey, which closes on Tuesday 14 May, here.


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