Small and medium businesses are set to gain as the Australian Government moves to further support local industry.
For the first time, tenderers looking at Australian Government work contracts will need to demonstrate how they will give small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a fair go.
From January 1, all new contracts over $20 million put out to tender will require the inclusion of an approved Australian Industry Participation (AIP) Plan with any bid – setting out how suppliers will give SMEs full, fair and reasonable opportunity to supply goods and services.
“This new requirement is part of the Rudd Government’s $19.1 million commitment to support buying Australian at home and abroad by extending and strengthening the AIP framework,” said Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr.
“The Government wants Australian manufacturing, construction and services firms to be afforded genuine opportunities to participate in major government procurements. That’s why we are applying the AIP framework to our own procurements,” he said.
Senator Carr said the changes will likely build on recent appointments of supplier advocates for steel and rail to champion those industries and help them win major contracts.
“SMEs will have better information about the work available, and tenderers will be better informed about the capabilities of Australian industry,” he said.