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Tuesday, 23 August 1994
Page: 159

(Question No. 1523)


Senator Reid asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 29 June 1994:

  (1) Can an assurance be given that the department and its agencies or statutory authorities will not call for a single contractor to provide occasional design, artwork preparation, printing, supply and distribution of forms and client information publications, thereby excluding small and medium enterprises from tendering.

  (2) In the event of the purchasing of (1) being reviewed by the department and its agencies or statutory authorities, will an undertaking be given to give due recognition to initiatives outlined in the recent Report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology entitled Australian Government Purchasing Policies in relation to: (a) industry development criterion; (b) comprehensive pre-tender ANZ supplier briefing procedure; and (c) an industry impact statement for the period of the contract(s).

  (3) Will a proportion of the department and its agencies or statutory authorities requirements under (1) be set aside for small to medium enterprises; if so, what proportion; if not, why not.


Senator Robert Ray —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) No. The method of purchase will vary with the circumstances. It will be determined after considering such factors as the complexity and estimated value of the purchase, its urgency, knowledge of the market and the tendering costs in splitting a contract into parts. Also, purchases will be made from enterprises prequalified under Common Use Contracts and Defence Standing Offers where such arrangements exist.

  (2)&(3) I refer the honourable senator to the answer to question number 1538 by the Minister for Administrative Services.