Explore options, formulating an action plan to foster innovative outcomes from government procurement expenditure.
Procurement is recognised as driver for increasing social and economic benefits. The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade as the owners of the procurement framework have progressively been reforming and modernising its processes and policies to be more agile and responsive to agency and industry needs. This continual improvement is assisted through our membership on key cross-jurisdictional special interest working groups, such as the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) strategic procurement, ICT commercial strategies, digital procurement, procurement for schools and training and ANZ Health Procurement Roundtable.
Improvements to government procurement systems and reporting ability has been one of our key focus for the past 18 months and the department has been working closely with the Department of Corporate and Digital Development as the owners of the all of government systems.
Work is underway to respond to key deliverables and drive innovation through sustainable procurement for the Northern Territory (NT) waste reduction strategy with the Department of Health leading the way through its sustainable waste management working group.
- Territory Innovation Challenges Program
The Territory Innovation Challenges Program (TICP) concept was publicly introduced during October Business Month 2020, and is intended to contribute to the achievement of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission mission to ‘position the Territory for future investment leading to jobs and economic growth in the medium term’.
The program will facilitate a competitive approach to solving industry challenge statements, resulting in the development and government procurement of an innovative solution. The TICP will do this by accelerating the development of a more competitive, innovation driven economy in the Territory, where Territory enterprises form collaborative clusters to innovate products for local and export markets, driving private sector jobs and investment growth in the Territory.
The TICP procurement process was successfully trialled through the Department of Health’s Drones for Life project, and the program is currently in final draft and scheduled for industry consultation late 2021.
- Procurement framework
In 2019, the Territory Government complied with its free trade obligations by introducing reforms to the procurement framework which included:
- encouraging agencies to use open and competitive processes
- providing more information about procurement on Quotations and Tenders Online.
Quotations and Tenders Online was re-developed to include a search function for ‘contracts awarded’. This list makes it easy for industry to find out which contracts government has awarded.
- Procurement Policy Hackathon
Procurement NT undertook a policy hackathon in 2019 as a novel and innovative approach to policy development and industry engagement. The concept was to bring together a small group of industry experts to generate and develop new ideas aimed at improving the efficiency and efficacy of the Territory Government’s procurement processes (while maintaining appropriate levels of probity, fairness and transparency), without the constraints of ‘normal practice’ thinking.
Fifteen professional consultants, probity advisors and NT Government staff attended the workshop. Opportunities identified by the workshop have been progressed through the development of industry specific engagement guides and the development of external facing webinar material.
- Value for Territory assessment framework
The Value for Territory assessment framework seeks to increase transparency in public procurement and make the tender assessment processes clearer, simpler, fairer and more objective.
The framework will:
- deliver improvements across the procurement lifecycle through new systems and guidelines for government officers
- provide improved information for business, industry and government officers to deliver consistency, and increase understanding and practical application of ‘Value for Territory'
- strengthen the ‘Buy Local Plan’ for more consistent Value for Territory outcomes.
- The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade is working with the Department of Corporate and Digital Development to systemise and integrate the framework into existing procurement systems.
- Aboriginal procurement policy
The Territory Government is developing its first Aboriginal procurement policy which is aligned to a broader Aboriginal economic participation framework and the Territory Government’s commitments to the national Closing the Gap agreement. The policy will drive opportunities for Aboriginal employment through government contracts, and increase the number of businesses and Aboriginal community controlled organisations being awarded government contracts.
- Sustainable / Waste Management Working Group: Department of Health
Procurement NT has been participating as an observer in the Department of Health’s Sustainable Healthcare Committee meetings. The purpose of the group is to identify and pursue opportunities to deliver sustainable health care in the NT. The committee is investigating opportunities to leverage procurement to reduce its environment footprint by improving recycling and reuse of materials.