2020 Commonwealth Procurement Awards for Excellence – Recipients

The Commonwealth Procurement Awards for Excellence (the Awards) helps promote the important role procurement plays in delivering services and outcomes for government, citizens and the business community. An initiative of the Centre of Procurement Excellence, the aim of the Awards is to raise the profile of procurement in entities, lifting the capability of the procurement cohort, driving effective engagement with the business community and demonstrating a commitment to excellence in procurement.

The 2020 Awards event was held on Monday 14 December at the National Gallery of Australia with Senator the Honourable Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters providing a keynote address and presenting awards to the ten recipient teams.

Awards were presented in the following categories:

Awards in the Building Entity Capability category:

This category recognised leadership or excellence in building procurement capability across an entity to deliver positive outcomes through procurement.

Gold award – Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)

The DVA listened to its internal stakeholders when developing the DVA Procurement and Contract Management Framework for implementation on 1 July 2020.

By adopting a transparent and centralised approach to procurement, the well-developed framework has demonstrated an improvement in their procurement processes and overall capability.

The agency is also seeing a significant positive cultural shift around procurement.

Silver award – IP Australia

To lift procurement capability and improve procurement culture at IP Australia, IP Australia addressed and resolved significant historical procurement legacy issues.

A rolling program of review and improvement of internal procedures, templates and tools was implemented to ensure alignment with contemporary practices and increased compliance with procurement policy requirements.

This has resulted in increased confidence in the procurement function and central advice team, achieving procurement outcomes.

Bronze award – Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

In spite of the large amount of staff spread across the country, ATO has continued to build upon their Procurement Capability Program to support staff, enhance organisational skills and knowledge.

By delivering according to the different training needs through a tailored program content and expanding delivery methods such as the creation of a virtual procurement training library, staff have 24/7 access to content.

The continuous engagement from senior executives within the organisation and from staff of all levels means improvements can be felt and seen, especially when there are such large volumes of contracts being managed annually, continually building on their capability uplift.

Awards in the Engaging with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) category:

This category recognised strategies or approaches that maximise the potential for Small and Medium Enterprises to engage and participate in a procurement.

Gold award - Department of Defence, Service Delivery Division

The Division embraced the opportunity to support SMEs and Indigenous business through 2019-20, especially at the height of COVID-19 in early 2020. They provided support; navigating administrative red-tape and enabling SMEs to transfer their skills to other areas of the Defence Estate services allowing for continued employment opportunities during unprecedented times.

Awards in the Delivering Innovation through Procurement category:

This category recognised innovation in delivering outcomes through procurement, or showcasing innovative procurement processes

Gold – Department of Social Services (DSS) and NSW Department of Communities and Justice (NSW DCJ)

This was a cross-jurisdictional collaboration to develop the ‘Connect for Safety’ platform which enables the sharing of inter-jurisdictional child protection information, providing a way to provide more efficient child protection services across borders.

The procurement as led by NSW DCJ and DSS engaged with all state and territory governments to deliver a bespoke solution that allows jurisdictions to overcome their individual legislative and policy obligations, allowing for swifter interventions to protect children and families.

Silver – Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and Australian Government Solicitor (AGS)

A first-of-its-kind idea of “Space as a Service” initiative, this bespoke contract solution enabled the Australian government to procure highly specialised research and engineering services in space, allowing for the flexible and efficient provision of data.

A process of extensive stakeholder engagement, qualitative data analysis and innovation resulted in the development of a genuinely new contract framework. ONI engaged with space industry specialists to develop the requirements whilst AGS developed the fit-for-purpose market testing documentation and bespoke contract framework. The results of this partnership is paving the way for fundamental changes in the Australian Government’s approach to delivery models.

Bronze – Department of Defence, Health Systems Program Office (HLTHSPO)

The HLTHSPO is entrusted with the mission of effective and timely provision of health materiel within Defence.

By engaging with stakeholders and better understanding individual business requirements, HLTHSPO was able to transition to an industry partnership with a prime vendor to deliver the necessary commodities.

Their efficient approach to the delivery of pharmaceutical, medical and dental consumables meant surge demands could be met. This includes assessing requirements and procuring against forecast needs, resulting in significant inventory, warehousing and distribution efficiencies and a seamless response to Operation Bushfire Assist and Operation COVID-19 Assist.

Bronze – Services Australia

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold from March 2020, the agency had to think outside the box to ensure the workforce was able to continue to operate safely in the ever changing environment.

There were innovative and multi-stakeholder collaborations between the agency and vendors through co-design solutions, enabling the production and delivery of Personal Protective Equipment and engagement of labour hire resources to support service delivery throughout states and territories.

The innovative approaches undertaken by the Procurement and Records Management Branch ensured the timely support to Australians in times of need and in keeping the service centre doors open throughout increased demand for services by the community.

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