Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Industry advocate to ensure level playing field for local business

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced a new Local Industry Advocate position that will make sure local businesses get a fair go in government procurement.

The Advocate’s first job will be to work with local industry to identify improvements to government procurement processes.

The Chief Minister said "I am particularly concerned to ensure our rules and regulations are not designed around the compliance capacity or needs of big players in a way which distorts the procurement process against innovative local firms."

"Our local businesses tell me they don’t need protection or any special advantages, they just need a level playing field when they compete for government work."

"While the government will always get the best value for money for the community, it is important to do this in a way that creates opportunity for local business, creates local jobs and continues the government’s renewal agenda."

"The Advocate will work exclusively in the interests of the ACT business community to ensure work that can and should be done by local businesses stays in the ACT, building capability and economic activity in our city."

"Our vision for a growing Canberra economy is built on three strategic imperatives: fostering the right business environment, supporting business investment and accelerating business innovation."

"The business development strategy we launched two years ago has been a genuine success – ranging from stimulating the construction sector during a period of major Commonwealth sector contractions to the programs to assist former public servants transition into the private sector – and national surveys have rated our efforts for small and medium enterprises as nation-leading. As the Minister for Urban Renewal, as well as Chief Minister, I want to see our city grow, develop and thrive – and to do this we need a strong and capable business sector."

"Once established, I will also task the Local Industry Advocate to work with local industry to prepare an Industry Participation Plan.  This will renew our business development strategy as the economic situation changes and new opportunities and challenges emerge."

"I have begun consulting with industry to ensure the scope of the advocate’s role meets their needs before we start recruiting someone with the right mix of skills and experience to do this important job."


  1. You might want to start with the Government Procurement Act 2001

    When does government have to pay it's bills to small business?...and pay them interest?


    We invoiced the ACT Government on 14 November and our contract specifies a 14 day payment period.

    The ACT government paid 6 days after the due date ...and our contracts have a late payment penalty (over $10).

    We were told that no interest was due.

    Yet the Act clearly states that we can charge interest if an account is unpaid.

    For some reason the Act includes a "relevant date" that allows the ACT government to NOT incur any interest on unpaid invoices for 25 days AFTER "the month in which the payment date happens"

    This can be up to 55 days!

    If payment is due 1 March and isn't paid - there is NO INTEREST due until 25 April if the bill remains unpaid.

    When did SMEs become the bank for the ACT government?

    How does this make sense?

    Has anyone else noticed this?

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