Delving deeper – the true strengths and benefits of the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy
The Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) is clearly making a difference to Indigenous businesses, according to Indigenous Professional Services Managing Director Katina Law.
Katina, a CPA and one of Australia’s most highly qualified Aboriginal accountants, understands the challenges facing Indigenous businesses. She has seen discernible engagement and growth of Indigenous business as a result of the Federal Government’s IPP.
“It’s early days for the IPP,” Katina said.
“But it’s already clear that a lot of Indigenous businesses are getting more direct requests for proposals, both from Government and corporates.
“There are challenges of course. But I see the IPP creating tremendous opportunities for Indigenous business. As a result of the IPP, there is a lot of opportunity trickling down to Indigenous businesses, allowing them to grow organically.”
Katina’s comments follow some criticism of the policy earlier in the year. Warren Mundine, former chairman of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council called for an independent panel to oversee deals made under the IPP.
However, the Federal Government reports the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) has been such a success in its first year that is immediately moving to introduce the 2020 target. The original target set for contracts in 2015-16 was 0.5 per cent of Commonwealth domestic contracts. This acknowledged the very low base, given the Commonwealth procured only $6.2 million from Indigenous businesses in 2012-13.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said that in just the first year the targets had been surpassed. Under the Coalition’s new procurement policy, the Commonwealth has awarded more than 1500 direct and indirect contracts to almost 500 Indigenous businesses worth a total of more than $284 million. This is almost 46 times the value of Indigenous contracts awarded by the Commonwealth in 2012-13.
According to Indigenous Professional Services and Katina Law, the IPP is delivering a range of discernible benefits to Indigenous businesses.
“A key outcome of the IPP is that the policy, by its very nature, is helping identify and tackle challenges faced by Indigenous businesses,” Katina said.
“For example, our research showed businesses have identifed a number of opportunities to improve support including:
The research show a positive outlook
Indigenous Professional Services is a key stakeholder and participant in the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy. Led by two passionate Aboriginal women – Kristal Kinsela and Katina Law – IPS has worked with hundreds of Indigenous businesses to strengthen their capacity and ability to grow and contribute to the wider economy.
Research conducted by IPS for Supply Nation in December 2016 shows: