There are serious concerns across Queensland’s small business community that the State Government’s signature Buy Queensland Policy is failing to demonstrate its intended effect, thereby failing to increase opportunity for local small employers to do business with government.
Another key concern for business is the amount of red tape when it comes to the procurement process, both in tendering and as contained in procurement contract terms. Small businesses have repeatedly voiced their frustrations as to the complexities of the process, and list it as the number one reason for avoiding procurement altogether.
The Queensland Government must immediately introduce a transparent and open procurement data platform across all government agencies for industry to assess the impact of the Queensland Procurement Policy.
Consider a public procurement target for small business participation, like the one adopted in the UK of “one pound in every three by 2020”.
Alongside CCIQ, develop a series of small business focussed educational workshops assist small businesses to understand the finer points of doing business with government.
Create shorter, more user-friendly public-sector contracts through simplifying the language in in government contract terms through the development of a new “standard public sector contract” to save both smaller businesses and the government money and resources by not having to wade through dense contracts.
Commit to funding programs that support small businesses in the tendering process such as CCIQ’s Business Ready Q-Assure.
Remove the “best practice principles” retrospectively added to the Queensland Procurement Policy as these requirements discriminate against small business employers and their capacity to compete for government contracts.
Commit to faster payment times for small business in line with the COAG commitment of 20 days.