The NSW Government has set a new whole of the government target to support Aboriginal jobs through its procurement activities, helping to support the creation of thousands of new jobs.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Finance Victor Dominello and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell have launched the Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP), which will target three per cent of Government goods and services contracts to be offered to Aboriginal-owned businesses.
In conjunction with the existing Aboriginal Participation in Construction policy, the APP will support an average of 1000 Aboriginal jobs a year over the next three years. “With around $20 billion invested in NSW Government contracts on goods and services a year, we are in a unique position to offer this practical support for creating Aboriginal jobs,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“These jobs could include electrical services, catering, recruitment and landscaping.” The policy allows NSW Government agencies to procure goods and services directly from suitably-qualified Aboriginal businesses valued up to $250,000. This has increased from the current policy allowing agencies to purchase direct from Aboriginal businesses for values up to $150,000.
Under the new policy, procurement activities valued over $10 million must also consider employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and engagement of Aboriginal businesses. Mr Dominello said, “Ultimately this is about delivering greater accountability through regular reporting and measurement of employment outcomes.
“For the first time we will track not just the number of contracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses but also the number of jobs for Aboriginal people supported through the Government’s procurement spend.” Ms Mitchell said, “This policy will not only help to boost Aboriginal employment, but it will grow Aboriginal leaders’ and communities’ capacity to drive their own solutions.”
Under the NSW Government’s existing Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy a minimum of 1.5 per cent of project spend must be dedicated to Aboriginal participation, for any construction projects valued over $1 million or projects primarily dedicated to an Aboriginal community.
The new Aboriginal Procurement Policy complements the Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy however both will contribute to the whole of government target to support an average of 1000 annual Aboriginal jobs through NSW Government procurement activities by 2021.
The NSW Procurement Board will work with agencies to monitor progress towards the policy targets on a regular basis. All NSW Government agencies must comply with this policy for relevant procurement activities from 1 July 2018.