8 April 2011

Procurement guidelines to become procurement rules

| johnboy
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ITnews has a story on changes being made by Finance to the way procurement is done in this town:

Speaking at an event in Canberra, the Department’s first assistant secretary for the procurement division John Grant said that suppliers and buyers were currently required to familiarise themselves with 758 pages of rules, guidelines, instructions and procedures.

It had led to a “wide range of procurement approaches” being used, Grant said, indicating the time was ripe for a simplifed, tailored approach for agency staff and industry suppliers.

The revised guidelines would come into effect on July 1.

It was likely the guidelines would be rebranded from Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines to Commonwealth Procurement Rules to reinforce to government agency staff that they were mandatory, not discretionary.

Best of luck to everyone getting their heads around the new system.

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They’ve re-done the FMA again?

I’ve been out of government for a while, working for various state and private entities, and the way in which commonwealth guidelines are ignored by the bodies receiving funding to run programs is quite fascinating. They regard it as normal procedure to use the allocated funds for anything they want to, there’s an attitude that the money is fair game to cross subsidise all kinds of other activities. At some point a spreadsheet is concocted to account for all program monies and to my disappointment, the departments giving the funding seem quite happy with that.

I guess that’s why outsourcing of program delivery has been so popular, the commonwealth is distanced from how the money is spent and regards that as providing a safe buffer from any trouble.

Its only 758 if you dont have to deal with the DMO. Their list of acronyms is about 758 pages, just to start.

To be technical, since the FMA Act was amended last year, compliance with the CPGs has been mandatory (despite being called guidelines).

georgesgenitals8:39 am 10 Apr 11

S*** requirements and salesmen who’d sell their own mothers to make the quarterly numbers.

And sometimes solutions aren’t right – imagine that!

To be fair, the procurement processes used by some departments materially add to the cost of goods/services, as everyone in industry pads prices to cover the cost of responding to tenders written by people who don’t know what they’re doing and can’t or won’t respond to questions. I’ve worked on both sides of procurement, and although appearing fair, it doesn’t result in the best outcome for government.

screaming banshee3:41 pm 09 Apr 11

2620watcher said :

…APS seem to think they need when they write a tender.

You’ve got it all wrong, what they need is whatever the sales guy from the company that looks after them the best tells them they need, which is usually also the exact same thing their equipment has over the competition….whether it is of value or not.

Good on Finance for trying what they can to make procurement easy. Unfortunately the one bit they cant control is the quality of requirements that the APS seem to think they need when they write a tender.

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