Aboriginal businesses

Procurement policies aim to support 3,000 employment opportunities for Aboriginal people by 2021.
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What you need to know
  1. You must comply with the NSW Government's Aboriginal Procurement Policy 2021 (APP).
  2. Up to  $250,000, you should give first consideration to an Aboriginal business for procurements. The APP permits agencies to directly negotiate with Aboriginal businesses up to this amount, even when there is a prequalification scheme in place.
  3. On all contracts over $7.5 million, suppliers must consider opportunities for Aboriginal participation.
  4. Your agency must also develop an annual Aboriginal Participation Strategy with measurable targets for increasing Aboriginal participation.
  5. Your suppliers also have obligations under the APP, which you are responsible for enforcing.
  6. The NSW Government and suppliers must report on progress against the APP.

We support the Aboriginal people of NSW

The NSW Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy 2021 (APP) aims to create 3,000 full-time employment opportunities for Aboriginal people by the end of 2021.

To help us achieve this aim, you must comply with the APP in all your procurement activities.

The APP will aim for Aboriginal-owned businesses to be awarded at least 3% of the total number of domestic contracts for goods and services issued by NSW Government agencies by the end of 2021.

The APP will also aim for 1% of each cluster’s addressable spend to be directed to Aboriginal businesses. Spend targets and cluster progress toward the targets are published on this website.

We encourage Aboriginal suppliers

We’ve introduced new rules for awarding contracts under $250,000 to encourage you to use Aboriginal businesses.

Contracts up to $250,000 can be negotiated directly

Agencies may negotiate directly with an Aboriginal business for all procurements up to $250,000, even if there is a mandated prequalification scheme or panel in place.

The Aboriginal business engaged by the agency does not need to be a member of a NSW Government prequalification scheme.

If one or more Aboriginal businesses are identified, the agency should engage with those suppliers before proceeding to a broader market.

We've set targets for Aboriginal businesses

The Aboriginal Procurement Policy 2021 (APP) aims to ensure at least 3% of the total number of the government’s goods and services contracts will be awarded to Aboriginal businesses by 2021. Note the target excludes construction contracts and non-procurement contracts.

NSW Treasury will publish cluster targets annually and report on cluster progress towards the targets.

We've set requirements for procurements valued at $7.5 million or more

In any procurement valued at $ 7.5 million or more, agencies must consider opportunities for Aboriginal participation.

This can include sub-contracting, employment, and training activity.

Minimum requirements apply to these contracts

Agencies must include minimum requirements for 1.5% Aboriginal participation in all contracts valued at $ 7.5 million or above.

This can be addressed by one or a combination of the following:

  • at least 1.5% of the contract value must be subcontracted to Aboriginal businesses
  • at least 1.5% of the contract’s Australian based workforce (FTE) that directly contribute to the contract must be Aboriginal employees
  • at least 1.5% of the contract value must be applied to the cost of education, training, or capability-building for Aboriginal staff or businesses directly contributing to the contract.

Exemptions may be considered and must be documented

Agencies should consider appropriate exclusions from the contract value in the calculation of Aboriginal participation requirements.

Exclusions are determined by agencies and may include specialised goods and services with very limited opportunities for Aboriginal participation. The application of any exclusion is at the discretion of the agency.

Where a contract is valued at $7.5 million or above and it's determined that there is no scope for Aboriginal participation (for example, the purchase of high-value equipment or machinery), then an agency’s Chief Procurement Officer may approve that Aboriginal participation is not required in that instance. Relevant approval documentation must be retained.

We include Aboriginal participation in our procurement planning

For contracts that are subject to the tender process, NSW Government agencies can ensure Aboriginal participation by setting requirements for prospective tenderers. This includes the requirement for an Aboriginal Participation Plan DOCX, 29.4 KB from each prospective tenderer.

Start with the tender process

When commencing a tender process, agencies must:

  • require tenderers to submit an Aboriginal Participation Plan during the procurement process that sets out how the tenderer plans to meet the Aboriginal participation requirements
  • require tenderers to declare, during the procurement process, whether they have previously participated, or are currently participating, in a NSW Government contract that has Aboriginal participation requirements. If applicable, tenderers should demonstrate their compliance with the requirements. Past performance should be considered when assessing Aboriginal participation proposals
  • include the final Aboriginal Participation Plan in the successful supplier/s contract requirements, including quarterly reporting against the plan and requirements for any Aboriginal participation spend balance to be retained by the agency or directed back to the agency to distribute to Training Services NSW.

Agencies should, whenever feasible:

  • provide a length limit for tender responses
  • use plain English and limit the complexity of tender requirements and documents
  • apply an Aboriginal participation non-price evaluation criterion.

Include a debrief for unsuccessful tenderers

NSW Government agencies are encouraged to conclude the tender process by providing constructive feedback to unsuccessful tenderers on their tender responses. The feedback should be given with a view to building the capability of businesses so they can successfully apply for future opportunities.

Wherever feasible, feedback given by a debrief or review session is recommended.

We manage Aboriginal participation with our suppliers

Suppliers have responsibilities towards Aboriginal participation when working with a NSW Government agency. In turn, agencies are responsible for ensuring suppliers comply with the APP.

Disclose your contracts to contribute to targets

Agencies are encouraged to disclose all contracts with Aboriginal businesses, even where these are below the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 contract disclosure threshold. All disclosed contracts contribute to the cluster targets of 3% of goods and services contracts.

Subcontracts with Aboriginal businesses that support the delivery of NSW Government goods and services contracts may be manually reported to NSW Treasury and count toward the cluster’s target of 3% of goods and services contracts.

Manage your supplier responsibilities

When dealing with suppliers, agencies must:

  • manage suppliers’ compliance with the APP, including reporting in accordance with the APP reporting requirements
  • take reasonable steps to support suppliers to meet the requirements
  • confirm claims made by the supplier in relation to Aboriginal participation and address any compliance or performance issues if they arise
  • support and assist in audits in line with the NSW Procurement Board’s commitment to undertake a random audit of 5% of contracts annually
  • conduct a final review of performance against the Aboriginal Participation Plan at the completion of the contract
  • direct any remaining balance of Aboriginal participation spend to Training Services NSW within 3 months of the completion of the contract, or earlier if the supplier confirms the Aboriginal participation targets will not be met.