SMEs allowed to bid for riskier NSW government tech work

Dominic Perrottet

The big push to reduce costly dependence on multinational software corporations letting smaller local technology bid and win work from the New South Wales government is continuing at pace.

The state’s Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet, has said that the Mike Baird government’s latest Procurement Strategic Directions Statement will open the door for smaller businesses to secure work on higher risk projects.

“We are accelerating rapidly our procurement reform program, with 45 new actions under the Procurement Board’s Statement that will make it easier for enterprises of all sizes to do business with the NSW Government,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Under the plan we will make it easier for SMEs to demonstrate potential value for money under short-term high-risk contracts worth up to $250,000.”

The state government has a vested interest in in liberalising and fostering better competition in its technology supply chain.

Aside from getting better value and pricing after years of heavily centralised procurement under Labor’s more than decade long run in office, New South Wales is also fighting-off a well organised campaign from Queensland to try and get smaller domestic and international technology firms to set up base there.

The ability to win a critical mass of government work is often a key drawcard in being able to successfully attract and retain innovate smaller businesses that in turn provide an economic and jobs growth engine.

Now Mr Perrottet is shouting the small business message to anyone who will listen.

“In NSW alone, about 1.5 million people are employed in more than 680,000 small businesses and SMEs now account for 70 per cent of government expenditure on ICT.

“It’s time for government to get out of the way and remove unnecessary red tape, to allow small and medium businesses to innovate, grow and succeed.”

He said that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics “SMEs now account for over one third of research and development spending in high tech industries.”

Earlier this year, the NSW government took the more compulsive step of requiring its agencies to seek “at least one quote from a SME on contracts worth up to $1 million” as a way getting small suppliers in front of buyers.

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