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Local Business missing out on Federal Public Service contracts

By 29 April 2014 8

Project tender processes in the Federal Public Service may not be promoting innovation and competitiveness, according to an article in The Canberra Times.

The Canberra Business Council has called for changes to the definitions of value for money, encouraging more local investment in relevant Government contracts, particularly relevant in situations where quotes submitted by local providers are only slightly more expensive than an overseas company.

Canberra entrepreneur Mick Spencer backs the Council’s call, saying ‘The industry talk is that if you see it on Austender, you’re already a week too late.’ Mr Spencer calls for decisions to take into consideration the value of contracts feeding local jobs and taxes.

Canberra Business Council Chair, Michelle Melbourne, addressed the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee on Monday, saying that procurement policies favoured large blue chip suppliers who were often foreign, at the expense of Australian businesses.

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8 Responses to
Local Business missing out on Federal Public Service contracts
dtc 4:21 pm
29 Apr 14
#1

You do realise that higher prices means higher taxes?

And that Austender thing is c%&p. If you know about a tender a week earlier, sure you have an additional week to prepare. Thats about it.

dungfungus 8:53 pm
29 Apr 14
#2

If you are a local supplier with a showroom say, in Fyshwick, it is a bit hard to compete with someone in Melbourne who offers a nice lunch after that hard airline flight from Canberra.
This is the “Canberra Cringe” at work.
There is at least one global equipment supplier who agrees that procurement officers visit their factory in Europe as part of an all expenses paid trip (see the rest of the world on the way). This is just plain graft.
To level the playing field local suppliers should first become “cyber national” on their websites with (serviced) offices in all states and territories making sure the “head office” is in Melbourne.
Smarter still is to move your business out of Canberra – no one in the Governmnet cares that you may be employing people.

colourful sydney rac 9:40 am
01 May 14
#3

As someone who has run tender processes for federal govt depts I can say that the claims by Mick Spencer are absolute rubbish.

dungfungus 11:34 am
01 May 14
#4

As someone who

colourful sydney racing identity said :

As someone who has run tender processes for federal govt depts I can say that the claims by Mick Spencer are absolute rubbish.

As someone who has submitted tenders for govt. agencies I would say Mick Spencer’s assessment is largely correct.
The preferred supplier is often given a “heads up”.
It’s the same with most government job “vacancies”. The decision has already been made and the advertisement is for compliance purposes only to make it look fair and above board.

Roundhead89 11:38 am
01 May 14
#5

Is that fair dinkum? The chairman of the Canberra Business Council is Michelle Melbourne? Was Michelle Canberra unavailable? Well, someone had to say it! :-)

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:36 pm
01 May 14
#6

There’s a lot more to quoting for government business than simply price. Factors such as complexity, risk, experience and being big enough to successfully blame/sue can all come into play.

And I also agree with Mick Spencer’s comments. I’ve worked on tender responses for contracts ranging from under $10k to over half a billion, and a lot more goes on than the govt procurement team know about. Tendering is often a dirty business, and you need to know how to play the game if you want to get ahead. Information flows freely around town, you just need to know who to ask. (Alternatively, you could go sit in the Qantas Club on a Friday afternoon and keep your ears open.)

dungfungus 2:04 pm
01 May 14
#7

Roundhead89 said :

Is that fair dinkum? The chairman of the Canberra Business Council is Michelle Melbourne? Was Michelle Canberra unavailable? Well, someone had to say it! :-)

Oh, that’s gold!

justsomeaussie 2:25 pm
01 May 14
#8

One day, state and federal governments will realise that the current tendering process means that companies just become really good at responding to tenders and not doing the actual work.

This is why the multinationals win, they’ll spend $100k on just tendering and the build that back into their price. Then beacause the prime’s prices will be much higher that the smaller players the evaluation team will naturally assume that the smaller players are offering crap and that “value for money” works upwards i.e. the more you pay the better something is (I have literally heard this).

Also for some bizarre reason a master past performance record isn’t kept across government. All the big players have had massive multiple 10-100million dollar failures yet they just wait a couple of years for the public servant teams to refresh and they bid again.

“you can’t polish a t$#d but you can roll it in glitter”

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