It is about to get a whole lot easier to do business with Councils following the renewal of the WA Local Government Association’s Preferred Supplier Program.
Each year more than $400 million in business is transacted through the WALGA program with Local Governments across the State.
The program employs an online portal of more than 1200 suppliers from which Local Governments can request quotes for goods, services and works, everything from professional services to purchasing large plant and equipment.
Operating for more than 20 years, the program has recently undergone a major review and renewal to enhance the ability to respond to changing economic circumstances and emerging opportunities.
As part of the changes to the program, the previous 39 supplier categories have been consolidated into 11 panels each with their own dedicated contract manager.
In addition the supplier contract terms and conditions have all been reviewed by legal experts and simplified to reduce red tape.
The changes to the structure of the program and supporting contracts are intended to maintain the relevance and competitiveness of supplier offers to WALGA Members.
The new Preferred Supplier Program is more agile and able to adapt to changing market conditions. Value for Money assessment is also enhanced in many areas through prequalified and volume predicated pricing.
The new program has a streamlined process to run frequent tenders and regularly on-board new suppliers.
There is also a biannual review and refresh process for all supplier panels through a new incremental cycle to maintain the currency of offers and respond to changing economic conditions.
In effect an increased capacity to on board new suppliers will offer Local Governments both greater choice and a stronger connection to local and regional suppliers, particularly Small to Medium Enterprise.
For participating suppliers, the program offers an opportunity to engage Local Governments exempt of the tender process and the robust protection of streamlined legal contract terms.
While the WALGA program is gazetted as tender exempt to Local Government, this does not obviate the need for Local Government to undertake competitive quotation processes and due diligence that is specific to their buying requirements within their local markets.
The WALGA model prequalifies suppliers to Panels through public tender, and maintains centralised contract management.
The focus of the program is to deliver benefits to communities through robust and transparent procurement by the State’s 139 Local Governments.
However, in undertaking the contracting process, the program also provides Local Governments benefits in administrative efficiency, compliance, proactive due diligence, risk mitigation, contractual protection, and supplier relationship management. It also avoids the duplication of process where it is effective to centralise the sector’s tendering activity.
To find out more about the WALGA Preferred Supplier Program or to register to join the panels go to walga.asn.au/Preferred-Supplier-Program.aspx