Labor offers procurement carrot

Labor offers procurement carrot

The Federal shadow portfolios of Industry, Innovation and Finance have combined to publish a joint release indicating Labor party intention to use extensive government procurement to bolster SMEs and the local IT industry.

Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation and Technology, Carmen Lawrence, told ARN the policy statement indicates the opposition's commitment to local industry.

"We are talking about being strategic when it comes to applying government expenditure," Lawrence said. "We are going to make sure Australian small business has access to government business, and make sure the bigger corporates abide by local industry development requirements."

The opposition plan includes enhanced opportunities for domestic suppliers to bid for government business through a reduction in the cost associated with doing business with the government.

According to Lawrence the cost threshold at which the use of mandatory procurement guidelines will be reduced from $10 million to $5 million. The target value of government purchases from SMEs will be increased from 10 to 20 per cent, and where possible the size of individual government contracts will be reduced to increase SME opportunities to participate in the tender process.

The statement also outlines the development of an accreditation system designed to streamline the tender process, and a series of measures designed to ensure a greater level of accountability within the procurement process.

Lawrence also indicated IT industry specific policy would be released in more detail in the run up to the next federal election.

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