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Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Page: 26769

Mr Sidebottom asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 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 the 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 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 Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) AFFA's Chief Executive Instruction on “Procurement of Goods and Services” includes advice that the “Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines are to be observed when purchasing goods and services”.

(3) AFFA bases its purchasing on the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. There is no methodology or weighting criteria for the importance of the core principles, however, a weighting may be applied to some evaluation criteria.

(4) While taking into account the issue of providing opportunities for Australian and New Zealand industry, AFFA also takes into account other principles such as value for money, ensuring an efficient, effective and ethical use of funds.

(5) As above.

(7) Checks of compliance with government policy are undertaken through several avenues. For example, through internal audit reviews, ANAO reviews, gazettal of contracts over $2000 and the Annual Report. In addition, the services of probity auditors are utilised, where necessary, to ensure compliance with government policy.