$700 million in government deals due June 30

Four huge all-of-government contracts will be awarded by June 30 this year, kicking off major changes to public sector procurement.

The contracts cover desktops/laptops, single and multi function devices, office consumables and vehicles.

Together they have a value of $700 million over four years and are part of the Government Procurement Reform Agenda which began in May 2009.

The reforms are based around four key themes, cost savings, building procurement capability and capacity; enhanced business participation; and improved governance, oversight and accountability.

A Ministry of Economic Development question and answer session states that the department is aware that not all agencies will be in a position to begin using the all of government contracts from day one. Agencies are expected to shift no later than June 30, 2012.

There will be flexibility in the final arrangements that are provided in the all of government contracts.

"This flexibility will enable agencies to continue to wrap around additional items, where appropriate," states the document.

The Department expects the AOG contracts to be panel arrangements which will allow for ongoing competition between suppliers. This means suppliers will need to maintain a high level of performance and quality of product.

Changes to the government procurement reform have also been announced.

According to the MED, a common problem that many suppliers raise is not getting enough advance information to prepare for upcoming government tenders – which impacts on what they can deliver to government and, in some cases, whether they participate in tenders at all.

To make it easier for agencies and suppliers, the government procurement reform team has circulated templates for agencies to use to create their annual procurement plans and strategic procurement outlooks documents.

"Work has also been progressing on developing standardised terms and conditions of contract. The aim is provide a single, plain-English set of terms and conditions, for use with routine, low risk, low value goods and services, and to replace up to 200 different documents which suppliers currently have to spend time (and money) grappling with," state MED documents.

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