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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 299

(Question No. 1517)

Senator Reid asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, upon notice, on 30 June 1994:

  (1) On what grounds was the decision made to call for a single contractor to provide occasional design, artwork preparation, printing, supply and distribution of forms and client information publications under Request for Tender 94/10101.

  (2) Will an industry development criterion be included in the tender assessment; if not, why not.

  (3) Will a comprehensive pre-tender ANZ supplier briefing procedure be followed; if not, why not.

  (4) Will an industry impact statement for the period of the contract be taken into account; if not, why not.

  (5) Will a proportion of the department's requirements under (a) be set aside for small to medium enterprises; if so, what proportion; if not, why not.

  (6) Will a small business participation plan be included; if not, why not.

Senator Schacht —The Minister for Employment, Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The principal purpose of the contract is to improve consistency in administration and documentation of programs within the Department by introducing national discipline in the design and use of forms and client information publications. The new arrangements will provide for a more regular and timely supply of forms and client information publications to DEET offices throughout Australia. They will also lead to worthwhile savings over time.

  It is not envisaged that any one business enterprise will do all the work required. This was reflected in the wording of the advertisement for the Request for Tender 94/10101. In response to that advertisement the Department has received four tenders each involving groups of companies.

  (2,4,6) The DEET contract for the supply and distribution of forms and client publications was first advertised in April 1994. The terms of the request for tender document were in accord with the purchasing policies and practices set out in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines at that time.

  (3) The Request for Tender 94/10101 was advertised on 23 April 1994 with an industry meeting being held on 11 May 1994. Approximately 80 people attended representing 40 companies. In addition, some 200 copies of the Request for Tender were sent to companies who requested the document.

  (5) The contract is to be awarded in accord with purchasing policies and practices current at the time it was advertised. Of the 46 firms involved in the tenders received, 22 could be characterised as small to medium enterprises.