9 July 2014 — The Queensland government’s Procurement Transformation Program is failing to deliver its intended goal of innovative, cost effective and efficient procurement, according to built and natural consultancy industry body Consult Australia.
The Queensland government has committed to working with business to deliver better value for money on a range of spending, including on major infrastructure projects, totalling more than $16 billion a year.
However, according to Consult Australia it is instead “sticking the boot in to industry” through “unreasonable terms and conditions, poor risk allocation and a focus on long-term fixed fees at the expense of innovation and better value for money outcomes”.
Consult Australia Queensland state manager Stacey Rawlings said that as the state embarked on a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure program, the current approach risked undermining the government’s long-term objectives.
“The government is actually developing a system that will undermine value for money, increase variations, stifle innovation and that builds risk into projects rather than managing it from the outset,” Ms Rawlings said.
“Woeful consultation with industry groups and businesses, poor issues management and a lack of communication have characterised the government’s approach to date. Executives across departments appear unaware of the scheme, or have no appreciation of its impact on their own procurement practices.”
Ms Rawlings said that the industry’s confidence in the government’s ability to work with business was being “radically eroded”, and while the goals of the reforms to procurement were commendable, in reality actions being taken were falling significantly short of best practice.
“Industry supports a simplified and consistent approach to the procurement of goods and services by government,” she said. “Our concerns are that these objectives will not be met under the current approach, and competition will be reduced across sectors.”