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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 303

(Question No. 1528)


Senator Reid asked the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, 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 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 Collins —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) DPIE currently operates in a devolved environment, with individual operational Groups responsible for arranging their own purchases, including artwork preparation printing, supply and distribution of forms and client information publications. Groups are free to choose suppliers within the precepts of current government and departmental policies and guidelines. Such a system means that, with very few exceptions such as official travel, there is a range of suppliers and contractors for goods and services, and that Small to Medium Enterprises have equal opportunity to quote and bid for tenders. Future decisions on the selection of contractors will continue to be made in accordance with relevant government policies and directives and based on value for money principles.

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

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