Procurement of Aboriginal goods and services grows in WA

The proportion of West Australian government contracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses is continuing to grow, with almost $500 million of contracts awarded over the last three years, according to government figures.

Tony Buti

The Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP), introduced in 2018, mandates progressive targets for contracts to Aboriginal businesses, with a benchmark of three per cent for  2020-21.

That target was exceeded, with 6.5 per cent of government contracts going to Aboriginal businesses in 2020-21, the latest APP Performance Report shows.

Since the launch of the program in 2018 the government has awarded nearly $476 million worth of goods, services and work contracts – almost 700 contracts – to 209 Aboriginal businesses.

Of the 284 contracts awarded throughout the state last financial year, 217 or 76 per cent were valued over $100,000.

Strong regional participation

There’s been significant participation from regional Aboriginal businesses, with the Kimberley once again being the strongest region, the government says.

Works and services have been provided in construction and maintenance, human resources, cleaning services, and community and social services, with the highest performing agencies including the Departments of Communities and Education, Main Roads and the Public Transport Authority.

Aboriginal affairs minister Tony Buti says the program is helping build capacity within the Aboriginal business sector.

“Growing this sector creates better financial outcomes for Aboriginal Western Australians and is part of broader … initiatives towards self-determination and inclusion,” he said.

“I’m proud of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy’s outcomes, which have seen consistent year-on-year growth in WA government contracting with Aboriginal businesses,.”

The policy has been expanded to include into employment and subcontracting targets, which came into effect at the start of 2022.

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