Simpler, more efficient processes for contracting with government

Author: 
John Sheridan - CIO & CISO

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Cutting Red Tape

 

I’d like to provide an update on some recently agreed initiatives put in place to make it easier to engage with the Commonwealth, the aim being to reduce the complexity and costs associated with tendering.

Procurement-Connected Policies

Procurement-connected policies (PCPs) are policies of the Commonwealth for which procurement has been identified as a means of delivery. They are linked to the procurement framework by paragraphs 4.7 and 4.8 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. Recently fourteen PCPs have been de-linked from the procurement framework and only four remain. The updated list of PCPs can be found here

A new framework has also been introduced to help ensure any newly proposed PCPs are well considered and have minimal impost on businesses contracting with the Commonwealth. More information can be found in RMG 415.

Streamlined Templates

From 1 January 2016, entities will be required to use the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS) when buying general goods and services valued between $10,000 and $200,000. The CCS will provide consistency for businesses supplying goods and services to the Commonwealth. Businesses will benefit from standardised terms and conditions and users will have access to intuitive online templates. RMG 420 provides more information on this policy.

Use of the CCS will not be required when purchasing from whole of government arrangements, panel arrangements or when undertaking very simple procurements, where no formal contract is required, for example at the point of sale. For procurements under $10,000 the Government’s preferred method of payment is credit card – refer RMG 416 for more information. For ICT goods and services the SourceIT model templates & SourceIT Plus should be used.

Building on the CCS, we are also developing new streamlined documentation for establishing and using panel arrangements. Businesses bidding for inclusion on a new panel will benefit from standardised templates, reducing administrative effort and legal costs. The panel templates are also being drafted to include the option to establish a ‘refreshable panel’ to allow new suppliers to be added periodically, increasing opportunities for suppliers while preserving the benefits of panels to the Government. Standard documentation will be available in the new year. Due to commitments to existing panellists on established panels, only new panels are likely to be refreshable. 

Telecommunications Arrangements

The Telecommunications Arrangements (AGTA) has been discontinued. AGTA has become redundant and creates unnecessary red tape for suppliers because of its dated legal requirements and practical inefficiencies. Current agreements will remain in place until their expiration. The business impact on industry currently using the AGTA Head Agreement is expected to be minimal.

If you have any questions on these changes let me know in the comments below, or email haveyoursay.procurement@finance.gov.au.

Regards

John

 

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Last updated: 24 January 2018