A Gateway to Better Contracts

Published on July 14, 2023
A Gateway to Better Contracts

IT Supplier Officer Hayley Bewick describes herself as the ‘go between person’ for contracts and procurement. But in her role at Melton City Council, this ability to connect people across seemingly disparate areas of the council is essential. 

“At any time, someone in procurement or IT will call me with a request for a good or service, and it’s my job to find a suitable supplier for it,” she says. 

For Hayley, and others like her in similar procurement roles, the ability to streamline the information gathering process of procurement can make all the difference. Especially when it makes finding multiple items easier or simplifies the process for locating something very specific. 

“I often need to locate multiple suppliers, understand what they stock and when, then on top of that, I have to build long-term relationships to future-proof our supply chains. That’s the main obstacle I face in this role – there are too many steps to find what I need to find,” Hayley explains. 

The growing importance of rigour in procurement

This struggle of comparing deals and availability with different suppliers is even more acute for councils. 

“Transparency is everything for us. We need to be able to confirm that all our contracts have gone through a rigorous review process to ensure we meet legislative requirements and provide value for money. But this can be immensely time consuming,” Hayley says.

This already complicated contracts process has been made even more protracted for councils thanks to Section 109 of the Local Government Act 2020. As the Act sets out, councils are required to seek collaboration with each other in the procurement of goods and services. 

Designed to encourage councils to work together through more proactive planning, abiding by the stipulations of the Act has also caused many councils consternation. Changing internal practices is difficult under any circumstances, let alone when it is mandated. 

“I don’t think our IT department even understood what ‘collaborative procurement’ meant a year ago. Now, it’s become increasingly important to us, not just in one department, but across the entire council. We need to find ways to work better with other councils, but it can feel overwhelming. 

“We value those in our field who can provide insight into how to make this change feel less impossible and more achievable,” she explains. 

For those in Hayley’s position, the solution to this multifaceted challenge is potentially right in front of them – to lean on the procurement experts to guide and facilitate rigorous and collaborative contracts. 

The growing importance of rigour in procurement

Performing the rigorous checks required by council procurement has been made easier for Hayley with a procurement partner by her side.

“Procurement Australia’s strong and stringent contracts process is a big green compliance tick for us,” she explains.

“Often, we don’t even need to go out to tender with anything. We know that if a contract is available on the Procurement Gateway, we are safe in the knowledge that its gone through the rigorous compliance process. The financials and insurance will be done. The supplier panel options will all be Procurement Australia vetted and approved. It takes a lot of the leg work out for us with the RFQ process through Procurement Gateway,” Hayley says.

Procurement Gateway is Procurement Australia’s free, easy-to-use online system that streamlines all your procurement tasks. Once members sign up for free, they have access to currently available contracts, upcoming contract events and our list of approved suppliers. For Hayley and council members in similar roles, having Procurement Gateway’s public sector tendered collaborative contracts are the real selling point of the platform.

“As collaborative contracts continue to grow in importance and abundance, Procurement Gateway provides a way for all councils to work more closely together on common supply issues and goals. But to make it happen, we need the right support and insight to action this change in a streamlined way. Procurement Gateway, and the relationship Managers at Procurement Australia, provide us and other councils with that leg up and that opportunity,” she says.

To find out more about Procurement Gateway and how it can benefit your procurement process, visit our website.

Source: Hayley Bewick, IT Supplier Officer, Melton City Council




Contact A Representative