06/12/2017 - 15:13

WA Buy Local policy concerns

06/12/2017 - 15:13

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The auditor general has found major flaws in the state government’s Buy Local policy, with concerns regarding data collection leaving agencies unsure if the policy is benefitting local businesses.

WA Buy Local policy concerns
The report found that government procurement over the past five years had been around $25 billion a year.

The auditor general has found major flaws in the state government’s Buy Local policy, with concerns regarding data collection leaving agencies unsure if the policy is benefitting local businesses.

The policy was introduced in 2002 and aims to sustain and, if possible, increase the share of government contracts going to local businesses.

In his latest report, Colin Murphy found that government procurement during the past years had been around $25 billion a year, but a lack of information meant agencies could not demonstrate if the policy had resulted in local employment and sustained business activity.

Mr Murphy also found that free trade agreements and other legislation further complicated the situation.

“We found agencies largely comply with the policy, but a lack of clarity in the policy itself and guidance in how to apply it in some circumstances, leads to mistakes and inconsistencies,” he said.

“There is little monitoring of, and no effective consequences for, companies failing to meet their local content tender commitments.

“This means using the policy does not automatically ensure a positive impact for the local community.”

Mr Murphy said the policy did help regional businesses compete for contracts against metropolitan suppliers, but did little to help Western Australian companies win contracts against interstate and international competition.

“To help agencies and contractors we have recommended that the local content policy and guidelines be reviewed to improve clarity and effectiveness,” he said

“Also that agencies monitor and report local content compliance and outcomes, and this information is publicly accessible.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the government had moved to address the concerns of the auditor general through the introduction of the Jobs Bill.

“My government has moved swiftly to deliver the Jobs Bill, a key election commitment that will create more opportunities for local businesses and more jobs for Western Australians,” he said

“The Bill ensures that, where possible, local industry participation is increased in the supply of goods and services and works in WA.

 “The auditor general’s report highlights the previous government’s failure to deliver in this key area, which meant WA workers missed out.”

 

 

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