Council seeking feedback from regional businesses
Published: 19 Mar 2020 4:49pm
Wagga Wagga City Council is working on new processes to make it easier for regional businesses to secure contracts for local projects.
At this week’s Ordinary Meeting, Council resolved to place a draft Regional Procurement Preference Policy on public exhibition and will seek feedback from key stakeholders and community members over the coming weeks.
Corporate Services Director Natalie Te Pohe said the new policy would realise the best opportunities for regional businesses to work with Council and benefit the community.
“The purpose of this policy is to encourage and support regional businesses and support economic activity within the region, where it is efficient to do so, while achieving Council’s overall ‘value for money’ objectives,” Mrs Te Pohe said.
“It also encourages all businesses, irrespective of where they are located, to support and use regional produce, goods and services available within the regional communities.”
The draft Regional Procurement Preference Policy highlights that regional preference is not a price benefit. Rather, it is a quantitative measurement that can be utilised in recognition of the physical presence of the supplier in the Riverina Joint Organisation Area, as well as the demonstrated and/or actual accompanying social and economic benefits that this provides to Council and the regional community.
Council was planning to hold workshops to not only gain feedback on the policy, but also to assist businesses in submitting tenders and quotations for works, but these will be postponed given the current concerns regarding coronavirus.
“When the situation changes we want to inform regional businesses about how they can become suppliers for Council, and we will be assisting businesses as much as we can in completing the processes associated with this,” Mrs Te Pohe said.
The next phase will see Council implement a new electronic procurement system that will change the way businesses currently provide a submission for Council works. There will be greater emphasis on educating businesses on how to register for notification when tenders and quotation opportunities become available, and how to complete the submission through Council’s new portal.
This will enable all businesses to have more accessibility in providing goods and services across the Regional Joint Organisation Area, Mrs Te Pohe said.
The intent is not to detract suppliers from submitting Tenders and Quotations for works to Council, but to encourage all suppliers to support regional areas in ways that may provide social or economic benefits.
“Providing a good submission is important to being successful. Council understands the submission process can be challenging so we encourage all businesses to attend these workshops when they are rescheduled. In the meantime, new business opportunities will be promoted through Council News on a monthly basis. This is just another step in promoting transparency and ensuring that businesses are aware of the opportunities available,” Mrs Te Pohe said.
“Council recognises that through supporting regional businesses it can assist in economic sustainability that will flow to social benefits across regional communities.”
Community members are encouraged to provide a public submission prior to 2 May through Council’s online portal at connect.wagga.nsw.gov.au