Wednesday, 29 May 2024
    Commonwealth's Indigenous Procurement Policy: A $9 billion success with ongoing reforms to ensure equity
    social procurement

    Commonwealth's Indigenous Procurement Policy: A $9 billion success with ongoing reforms to ensure equity

    The federal government is actively seeking ways to enhance its Indigenous Procurement Policy, a strategic initiative launched in 2015, with the goal of allocating 3% of contracts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. To date, this policy has successfully generated over $9 billion in contracts, benefiting over 3,600 Indigenous businesses. However, concerns have emerged regarding 'black cladding,' where non-Indigenous businesses exploit loopholes to secure contracts intended for Indigenous enterprises. 

    Assistant Indigenous Australians minister, Malarndirri McCarthy, emphasises that a review of eligibility criteria is the initial step to ensure that the intended benefits reach First Nations businesses. The consultation process, underway until March 2024, aims to gather perspectives on various priority reform areas, including a proposal to mandate Indigenous enterprises to be majority Indigenous-owned, managed, and controlled. 

    Senator McCarthy highlights the consistent delivery of high-quality work by Indigenous businesses and underscores the importance of this consultation in redirecting economic benefits to First Nations people, businesses, and communities. Notably, spending with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses exceeded $4 billion in the last financial year, showcasing a substantial increase compared to the $300,000 spent with 12 Indigenous businesses in 2009. Kate Russell, CEO of Supply Nation, which verifies Indigenous companies, credits the growth to the increasing number of Indigenous suppliers actively seeking opportunities across corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors. 

    Within our supplier protocols at Procurement Australia, we encourage and champion any indigenous business owners to become suppliers. We are also there to support value-aligned procurement professionals procure from Indigenous businesses. Learn more about our supplier benefits and how we support Indigenous suppliers.   


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