Since July 2018, the Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP) and Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) policy have supported over 1,300 full-time equivalent (FTE) employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. This is 43% of the NSW Government’s target to support 3,000 FTE employment opportunities for Aboriginal people by the end of 2021.
In the 2018-19 financial year, NSW Government spent $63.2 million with Aboriginal-owned businesses. The APIC Policy saw an additional $132 million directed to Aboriginal-owned businesses, employment of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal education, training and consultation activities through the government’s construction projects.
The APP and APIC policies are mandatory procurement policies for NSW Government agencies under s.176(1)(a) Public Works and Procurement Act 1912.
APP and APIC policy 2019 review
The NSW Procurement Board committed to an annual review when it released the policies in 2018.
The review started in February 2019. It assessed policy implementation, compliance and processes, along with stakeholders’ understanding of the policy.
The review included:
- February: information sessions with approximately 200 industry and government participants
- April: 120 participants attended industry and agency policy review workshops
- July: 198 responses to an online public consultation through the government’s Have your say website
- August: two workshops with agency staff to finalise the review recommendations
- one-on-one meetings with Aboriginal-owned businesses, non-Aboriginal businesses, peak bodies and agency staff
- research and data analysis to help us achieve the best outcomes from a revised policy.
On 20 November 2019, the NSW Procurement Board approved the recommendations made by NSW Treasury in the Aboriginal Procurement Policy and Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy 2019 Review Report (PDF, 1.38 Mb).
The review makes 37 recommendations across the following key areas:
- merging the APP and APIC policy
- simplifying and aligning requirements and targets
- introducing a target requiring clusters to direct 1% of addressable spend to Aboriginal-owned businesses by the end of 2021
- retaining the target to award 3% of goods and services contracts to Aboriginal-owned businesses by the end of 2021
- allowing P-card transactions and subcontracts to count toward the contract target
- assigning targets to each cluster to improve accountability, and publishing their progress toward achieving the targets
- requiring 1.5% Aboriginal participation across all high-value contracts over $7.5 million
- retaining purchasing permissions that allow agencies to buy directly from Aboriginal-owned businesses for relevant procurements
- simplified reporting requirements
- providing significantly more support and guidance to Aboriginal-owned businesses and government staff to apply the policy.
NSW Treasury will work with agency and industry stakeholders to implement the recommended changes.
The revised policy will be released in March 2020 and come into effect from 1 July 2020.