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Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Page: 26752


Mr Sidebottom asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 1 March 2001:

(1) Is the Minister's Department, or are agencies within the portfolio, large purchasers or consumers of office papers.

(2) How are Commonwealth procurement guidelines being adhered to by the Minister's Department and agencies within the portfolio.

(3) What methodology or weighting criteria does the Minister's Department and agencies use to determine the importance of the core principles which underpin the procurement guidelines, namely (a) value for money, (b) open and effective competition, (c) ethics and fair dealing, (d) accountability and reporting, (e) national competitiveness and industry development and (f) support for other Commonwealth policies.

(4) What weighting criteria are used to implement the mandatory provisions in the guidelines which state that agencies must be able to demonstrate that Australia New Zealand (ANZ) suppliers have had a fair opportunity to compete.

(5) In inviting suppliers to tender for the provision of goods, are suppliers advised that they must offer ANZ goods.

(6) If the Minister's Department or agencies within the portfolio do not have weighting criteria for determining the principles, will the Minister take steps to ensure that they provide an appropriate means to demonstrate their compliance with Commonwealth procurement policy.


Mr Howard (Prime Minister) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I am advised by my department as follows:

For all agencies within the Portfolio

(1) No.

(2) The Department closely follows Commonwealth Government Procurement Guidelines in the purchasing of all goods and services.

(3) (a) to (f) No weighting to the core principles is applied when assessing procurement opportunities. For each purchasing activity, departmental officers are encouraged to use their judgement in ensuring all of the procurement core principles of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines are adhered to.

(4) For each purchasing decision, the Department considers each of the core procurement principles, including the requirement to ensure Australian and New Zealand suppliers have fair opportunity to compete for departmental business.

(5) No. However in each procurement decision the department remains conscious of the principle relating to open and fair competition and government policy supporting the development of competitive Australian and New Zealand Industries.

(6) The attention of all staff involved in procurement activity is drawn to the departmental Chief Executive Instructions, which provide detailed guidance in relation to the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.