NSW to simplify council procurement

A new vendor panel service is set to be delivered to NSW local councils this month, to simplify the process of finding and contracting suppliers.

A new vendor panel service is set to be delivered to NSW local councils this month, to simplify the process of finding and contracting suppliers.

NSW Local Government Procurement will make the sourcing application available to over 160 council bodies so that suppliers can apply for contracts and councils can find the most suitable suppliers via one tool.

Previously, the procurement office had used a preferred supplier arrangement, relying on buyer guides and supplier listings for councils looking to fulfil contracts. This provided little assistance to councils when trying to find the best supplier and made administration of different needs difficult to manage.

Brian O'Mara, general manager of NSW Local Government Procurement, said the new service aims to "make it easier for councils to access the best match preferred suppliers; easier for preferred suppliers to access opportunities and benefit from their preferred status; and easier for procurement to optimise supplier relationships while reducing administration and risk, with real-time visibility before decisions are made".

The new service was better than procedures currently used by both state and federal government for procurement, according to O'Mara. "What we've developed is a method for councils to obtain quotes that's far faster than anything I've located in other government options."

Magnetized Markets, the supplier for the application, was selected after a year and a half of the procurement office looking at prospective service providers. "We have been looking for a solution to this issue for about 18 months," O'Mara said, "I assessed options from half a dozen companies but Magnetized Markets met our needs."

Managing director of Magnetized Markets and the creator of the Vendor Panel technology James Leathem believed the new service will simplify the procurement process for all involved. "Buyers are struggling to work out which preferred suppliers best match their needs, suppliers are frustrated at not getting access to opportunities, and procurement want to reduce administration while better realising the value of preferred supplier arrangements," he said.

NSW Local Government Procurement is the procurement service for 152 general purpose local government councils, 13 special purpose councils and 13 Regional Aboriginal Land Councils in New South Wales. It coordinates whole-of-government or bulk service contracts and facilitates service agreements between councils and suppliers.