Ministers non-committal on local procurement question

ICT Minister Amy Adams and Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain queried on lack of preference for local suppliers

ICT Minister Amy Adams and her staff have declined to defend her own remarks to an Institute of IT Professionals breakfast last month, indicating a lack of preference for local suppliers in awarding government contracts “other things being equal”.

Adams’s press secretary, Nathan Beaumont, advised that Computerworld’s questions should be forwarded to Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain, as he is ultimately responsible for government procurement policy.

Questions were put to Adams and then subsequently redirected to Tremain. “What reasons could there be, other factors being equal, that preference would not be extended to the local company?” Computerworld asked.

“Are [Adams] and Cabinet ruling out any kind of policy of preference for a local supplier in the face of parity in other factors — especially in view of the increasingly all-of-government perspective on ICT planning?”

Spokeswoman Mary-Jane Rendle’s reply on behalf of Tremain, is as follows: “We need all types of companies to be able to trade and thrive in NZ. Small-to-medium sized NZ-owned enterprises are critical, but so are large, multinationals who can offer economies of scale and global experience.

“Government is conscious of the needs and concerns of NZ-owned businesses, and therefore, in addition to the functions of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, also offers initiatives like ‘Meet the Buyer’ and ‘Open Door to Innovation’.”

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