The Federal Government's estimated spend of around $4 billion a year on IT will be conducted under a new set of rules.
The former Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (known as CPGs) were revised and renamed as The Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) and will come into effect from July 1 (pdf).
While the policies appear unchanged, the tone and terminology of the rules indicate a desire for improved compliance.
Internal and external audits conclude that compliance with procurement rules remains uneven.
The most recent Australian National Audit Office report on the use of procurement panels by three separate agencies found they did not sufficiently document how individual procurements represented value for money for between 41 per cent and 71 per cent of the procurements examined (pdf).
Among the major changes:
However the reporting thresholds have not changed. Including GST, these are:
New names for old procurement methods
The rules also introduce benign-sounding alternatives for procurements that are otherwise not open for general competition.
Two of the three procurement methods have had a name change:
So-called “covered and non-covered procurements" are now described as being above or below the relevant procurement threshold (usually $80,000).
These terms were “not well understood” by non-procurement practitioners, according to an explanation (pdf) of the changes.
Also a new exemption from Division 2 — rules for acquiring goods and services above agreed thresholds — has been added: number 17, procurement from a SME with at least 50 percent indigenous ownership.
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