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NSW to investigate procurement practices

procurement

The NSW Government will launch an inquiry into the state’s procurement framework and practices.

The inquiry was established in response to concerns raised by the procurement minister Courtney Houssos about the decrease in local manufacturing and local content under the previous State Government.

Over the past 12 years, Houssos said billions of taxpayer dollars had been spent on interstate and overseas businesses, allowing key government contracts to leave NSW, missing the opportunity to create thousands of local jobs.

For example, a McKell Institute report from 2021 found that thousands of jobs would have been created in NSW had the previous Government contracted local train manufacturers instead of going offshore.

The NSW Government spends about $37 billion on goods and services, construction and with other suppliers annually.

“The NSW Government is committed to transforming the state’s procurement framework and practices. Doing so can promote local industries, accelerate economic growth, promote regional development, and ensure jobs remain onshore,” Houssos said.

The NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues will undertake an inquiry and assess how to:

  • maximise value for money
  • increase transparency
  • promote better social, economic and labour market outcomes
  • increase procurement from Aboriginal-owned businesses, women owned businesses and social enterprises
  • boost skills and training.

The inquiry will be chaired by the Sarah Kaine MLC.

Houssos said interested parties could make a submission to the inquiry to help inform its recommendations.

The inquiry is expected to hand down its findings by July 2024.

We are committed to leveraging the power of government procurement to promote local jobs and foster our local manufacturing industry,” Houssos said.

“We are committed to creating good, well paid and secure jobs right across the state.

“We want workers, business and investors to know we’re backing NSW.”

Kaine said the inquiry would consider the potential for procurement to contribute to the social development of the people of NSW, encourage ethical conduct, domestic manufacturing, innovation and inclusion.

“We should not have a situation where companies that attract public funding do not adhere to accepted legal and moral standards of fairness,” she said.