The Victorian Department of Business and Innovation (DBI) is moving to increase small and medium business’ access to government procurement opportunities through the rollout of an eQuotation system.
The system, due by the end of March, will take the form of a Web-based SME portal, similar to the UK’s Supply2.gov.uk portal and allow better collaboration and sharing of information on state government procurement opportunities.
“The solution intends to provide a centralised access point to DBI lower-value contract opportunities, which fall below the advertising thresholds (open tenders) and where public sector procurement officers in DBI can advertise lower-value contract opportunities free of charge and attract businesses that can deliver innovation, choice and increased value for money,” DBI documents on the initiative read.
Specifically, the system will improve visibility and access to procurement opportunities worth between $10,000 to $150,000, thereby promoting competition and contributing to the government’s desire for better value for money.
According to the DBI, Australian SMEs face obstacles to participating in government tenders such as a lack of timely and basic information regarding procurement opportunities, well entrenched relationships with larger and well known suppliers, and the time and cost of responding to procurement opportunities.
“Improving the visibility of lower value contract opportunities to SMEs is seen as particularly important because 90 per cent of goods and services purchased by the Victorian Government are valued at under $100,000,” the documents read.
The Victorian Government expenditure on goods, services and construction works is more than $15 billion per year, representing more than five per cent of gross state product.
“Public procurement is hence an important economic policy lever and is an important means of meeting broader policy objectives such as innovation, skills development and encouraging environmental sustainability,” the documents read.