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NSW Government to set up private-sector procurement brains trust

by Paris Cowan •
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The NSW Government is asking private and research sector procurement experts to lend their time and knowledge to a seven-member Industry Advisory Group that that will help to direct the future of goods and services procurement policy in the State.

Applications are now open to become part of the Group, to be lead by an independent chairperson, which will keep the recently established NSW Procurement Board up to date on trends and opportunities when it comes to the procurement of goods and services.

Group members will be expected to give the Procurement Board advice on “sector-wide procurement matters, including industry standards, future directions, procurement strategy, and the impact of the Government’s procurement management decisions on industry and the non government sector.”

They will also receive an annual stipend for their troubles.

Applications can be submitted by mail or email up until 19 October 2012.

Procurement is a dynamic policy area in the O’Farrell Government, and has commanded much of Finance and Services Minister Greg Pearce’s attention over the past months. Procurement reforms are expected to deliver a $1 billion savings dividend to the State over four years, with a comprehensive strategy statement due from the Board in the near future.

The Government is also hoping that reforms designed to make doing business in the public sector easier will win the favour of suppliers and attract business to the State. Pearce has already abolished the supplier management fee previously applied to all procurements through whole-of-government panels, and has also confirmed plans to remove lengthy and complex tendering processes currently required to become signatories to these panels.

The Minister appears determined to show that minimising administration and duplication in the Government market can produce improved outcomes for both public sector buyers and their private sector suppliers simultaneously.

The procurement Industry Advisory Group has been modelled on the seven-member ICT Advisory Panel established by the NSW Government 12 months ago, which provides the Government’s peak ICT body (which features much the same membership as the Procurement Board) with non-government perspectives on ICT policy as it goes about the implementation of its ICT Strategy.

The establishment of this second group sends a clear message that the NSW Government has been pleased with the results of its initial experiment in private-sector consultation on ICT. This is likely to solidify the intentions of the Queensland Government, which has hinted that it could set up a similar body following the completion of its Government-wide ICT Audit.

Applications are currently open to fill three seats on the NSW ICT Advisory Board, two of which have been vacated by departing members and one newly created position. A spokesperson for the Finance Minister Greg Pearce said that she could not yet confirm who would be leaving the panel. However Chairman John Baird has confirmed that he will stay on for another 12 months.

Baird will present to delegates at Friday’s HealthShare NSW Expo. Keep an eye out for Intermedium’scoverage of his address.

Related Articles:

The end of whole-of-government panels in NSW

NSW Government hangs up the phone on telecommunications panels

NSW Government to dissolve SCCB in procurement shake-up

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  • NSW
  • Finance & Services
  • Greg Pearce
  • Industry Advisory Group
  • John Baird
  • NSW ICT Advisory Panel
  • NSW Procurement Board