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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 302

(Question No. 1527)


Senator Reid asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, 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 and medium enterprises; if so, what proportion; if not, why not.


Senator Bolkus —I am advised that the answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) In December 1992, after competitive tendering, the Department signed a five-year contract with a single contractor for the design, artwork preparation, printing, supply and distribution of forms and the development and sale of forms-based advertising products. This includes client information forms. The contractor, a wholly-owned, medium-sized Australian company, sub-contracts components of the contract (such as forms design, formatting and distribution) to small and medium-sized Australian companies.

  (2) The contract anticipated and incorporates many of the recommendations of the Report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. For instance, virtually all components are undertaken by small-to-medium-sized Australian enterprises (the exception being overseas freight and distribution).

  (3) Public information publications go to competitive quotes. Selection is in accordance with Australian Government Purchasing Guidelines.