The NSW government announced today that regional, small and medium-sized businesses will be prioritised for all direct procurements up to $250,000.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro explained that the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and Regional Procurement Policy provides a much needed boost for businesses impacted by droughts, bushfires and COVID-19.
“What we are saying to NSW Government departments is instead of looking to Sydney, where possible give first consideration to the excellent local tradies, businesses and shops in a local regional community when it comes to procuring goods and services.
“We want SMEs and regional businesses to be front-of-mind when departments are considering which supplier to engage.”
Government agencies must first consider purchasing from regional suppliers for procurement in a regional area. If procurement is not in a regional area, agencies must first consider purchasing from an SME.
There are also a number of small business purchasing exemptions.
For instance, government agencies can buy directly from small businesses for any purchases up to $50,000 even if there is a mandated or available whole-of-government contract. Further, a general procurement exemption allows agencies to purchase up to $10,000 from any supplier.
SME participation is also being accounted for in procurement above $3 million.
For contracts valued over $3 million, suppliers must report on sustainability criteria and the SMEs that have been engaged.
The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and Regional Procurement Policy also details the Procurement Innovation Stream, which allows procurement-accredited agencies to directly engage an SME on short term contracts valued up to $1 million for concept-testing or outcomes-based trials. These tests or trials must solve a specific problem or improve government service delivery.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope emphasised the NSW government’s desire to support regional businesses.
“We want government departments to be aware of these opportunities and to think about the excellent SMEs and businesses in regional areas they could procure goods and services through.
“Businesses can also access free independent business advice to build their capability to supply goods and services to government, through the NSW Government’s Business Connect program.”
For more information visit: https://buy.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/sme-and-regional-procurement-policy
*Article first published in https://dynamicbusiness.com.au/topics/news/regional-small-and-medium-sized-businesses-prioritised-in-procurement.html