Encouraging Aboriginal Participation in Procurement

The NSW Government has a framework for encouraging Aboriginal participation in procurement. The Government’s plan is to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people across all sectors of the community. 

Government procurement provides a significant opportunity to increase Aboriginal skills and economic participation through two policies:

Aboriginal Procurement in Construction (APIC): This is where Agencies must apply the minimum 1.5 per cent of project spend for Aboriginal participation to relevant construction projects

Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP): Agencies must aim for Aboriginal owned businesses to be awarded at least three per cent of the total number of domestic contracts for goods and services issued by NSW Government agencies by 2021.

Through this policy Agencies must:

  • Publish an annual Aboriginal Participation Strategy
  • Report all contracts valued over $50,000
  • Apply Aboriginal participation non-price criteria
  • Make suppliers aware of obligations at the time of tender
  • Incorporate supplier obligations into the contract

OCM, through the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC) are currently undertaking a number of projects to assist Agencies meet their obligations under these policies.

OCM did a wash of one Agency’s 17/18 financial year data against the suppliers under the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce list of Aboriginal businesses and found that they currently used no Aboriginal suppliers. There was however opportunities for the Agency to review their pipeline of upcoming procurement activities and work through ways of encouraging Aboriginal businesses –

  • to apply for business
  • for other suppliers to use Aboriginal businesses in their supply chain and
  • employ Aboriginal people in jobs directly associated with the goods and services being procured

OCM encouraged the Agency to have a target of 0.07% in the FY 18/19, then 2% in the FY 19/20 and 3% in FY 20/21.

Business in Profile: Goanna Services

Continuing OCM’s series of profiling an Aboriginal business that has completed the NSWICC Business Accelerate Program, Goanna Services is one such business.

Goanna Solutions is an Indigenous majority-owned enterprise providing clients with an array of innovative, secure and intuitive technology solutions including software solutions, hardware deployments, consulting services and cyber security offerings.

As an enterprise, who are majority-Indigenous owned their purpose is to ‘close the digital gap’ by providing an enduring framework to deliver Indigenous people with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics) education, training, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Certified by Supply Nation and the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, clients can meet their Indigenous supplier diversity procurement targets per their Reconciliation Action Plan, Supply Nation or Indigenous Chambers of Commerce memberships, the Australian Government’s Indigenous Procurement Program and State equivalents, or similar.