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Rules behind NT’s $3 billion procurement spend under review

by Chris Huckstepp •
Free resource

ICT suppliers selling to Northern Territory Government should expect changes to procurement processes in the next 12 months, with the Territory issuing a request for tender (RFT) for a review of its procurement framework and practice.  

The scope of the review includes governance structures and policies, including its Buy Local Plan, procurement tiers, and reporting and assurance requirements.   

The Territory spends roughly $3 billion on infrastructure, goods, and services each year, according to the Buy Local Plan (this covers all categories and not just ICT).  

“It is envisaged this review will identify opportunities to build and improve NT Government procurement practice and value for Territory outcomes; and assess and make recommendations to improve the operation of the procurement governance model,” according to tender documents. 

In April 2021, the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption released to the public the findings of a report into the alleged misconduct by two members of a procurement assessment panel. The review found there was “insufficient evidence of unsatisfactory conduct” but recommended that procurement reform remain a priority for the Territory and that procurement processes be simplified.  

As a likely nod to this finding, the review requires the supplier “to identify inconsistencies, gaps and duplication and opportunities to streamline, simplify and improve use and language.”  

Suppliers will be selected on criteria including past performance and the capacity to comply with time requirements. Thirty percent of the assessment is also based on ‘local content’ considerations, including whether the supplier has a local presence and supports local employment. 

The NT punches above its weight in Intermedium’s annual assessment of digital government readiness and maturity, outperforming jurisdictions with larger populations and resources. It also put significant funding towards several ICT initiatives in the 2022-23 budget. However, most funding went to initiatives announced in previous years.   

The RFT closes 19 July 2022.

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