Aboriginal Procurement Policy - FAQs

Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP) - Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is the APP?

The APP is a whole-of-government procurement policy aimed at supporting employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and growth in the Aboriginal business sector in NSW through NSW Government’s purchasing of goods and services.

Why has the NSW Government introduced the APP?

The APP supports the NSW Government Plan for Aboriginal Affairs, OCHRE, and is a key deliverable under the Aboriginal Economic Development Framework.

What are the APP’s targets?

The APP establishes the following whole-of-government targets to be achieved by 2021:

a. In conjunction with the NSW Government’s existing Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) policy, support an estimated 3,000 full time equivalent employment opportunities for Aboriginal people through NSW Government procurement activities.

b. Award Aboriginal owned businesses at least three per cent of the total number of domestic contracts for goods and services issued by NSW Government agencies. 

When does the APP come into effect?

The APP is mandatory from 1 July 2018.

All agencies are encouraged to apply the policy at an earlier date where this is practical.

Who does the APP apply to?

The APP applies to all NSW Government departments, statutory authorities, trusts and other government entities (collectively referred to as ‘agencies’).
State owned corporations are encouraged to adopt aspects of the policy that are consistent with their corporate intent.

What type of procurement does the APP apply to?

The APP applies to the procurement of goods and services of any kind by all NSW Government agencies, as defined in Part 11 of the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912, excluding construction. The Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy’s Aboriginal participation requirements for NSW Government construction projects continue to apply.

The APP sets requirements against major procurement activities valued over $10 million (excl. GST) and provides ability for agencies to directly engage Aboriginal owned businesses for values up to $250,000 (excl. GST).

What is an Aboriginal owned business?

For the purposes of this policy, an Aboriginal owned business is one that is considered to be an Aboriginal owned business through recognition by an appropriate organisation, such as:

  • NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce  
  • an organisation representing Aboriginal owned businesses in another state or territory that is a member of the First Australians Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Supply Nation.

Where required, NSW Government may seek additional information to validate the business is an Aboriginal owned business.

Does the APP also apply to Torres Strait Islander peoples?

The objectives, targets and measures of the APP include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Do the APP’s targets overlap with those of the Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy (APIC)?

The APP is a separate policy to the Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) Policy, however, both policies contribute to the NSW whole-of-government target to support 3,000 employment opportunities for Aboriginal people through NSW Government procurement activities by 2021.

Supplier FAQs

How will the APP benefit Aboriginal owned businesses?

It is expected that the APP will deliver a broader range of opportunities for Aboriginal owned businesses to supply to government both directly and via subcontracting arrangements.
NSW Government agencies can engage directly with suitably qualified Aboriginal owned businesses for procurements valued up to $250,000 (excl. GST).

Can an Aboriginal owned business which is not formally recognised as an Aboriginal owned business by Supply Nation or the NSWICC benefit from the APP?

Aboriginal owned businesses which are recognised as Aboriginal owned by another appropriate organisation are eligible to supply to government under this policy.

Where required, NSW Government may seek additional information to validate the business is an Aboriginal owned business.

What can Aboriginal owned businesses do to be considered for NSW Government contracts?

Aboriginal owned businesses should:

  • Ensure they are recognised as an Aboriginal owned business by an appropriate organisation.
  • Identify and engage with NSW Government agencies that may require the types of goods or services provided by their business.
  • Review agencies' Aboriginal Participation Strategies for potential business opportunities.
  • Register under relevant prequalification schemes for goods and services provided by their business.
  • Respond to agencies' procurement opportunities by providing proposals that meet agency needs and are offered on competitive terms.
  • Seek feedback from agencies if a business proposal is not accepted.

What are Aboriginal Participation Plans and Aboriginal Participation Reports?

These are requirements for suppliers outlined in the APP related to identifying opportunities and monitoring of Aboriginal participation against individual contracts.

A draft Aboriginal Participation Plan should be provided to the contracting agency as part of the tender response and the final Plan should form part of the supplier's contractual obligations and will demonstrate how the supplier will meet the individual contract requirements and targets for Aboriginal participation. Suppliers are required to provide progress reports against the Plan to the contracting agency monthly or more frequently as determined by the contracting agency, in a format specified by the NSW Procurement Board. Suppliers are required to provide an Aboriginal Participation Report on completion of the contract or on a periodic basis as determined by the contracting agency to demonstrate whether the supplier has met the Aboriginal participation requirements.

For more information about supplier reporting requirements see Section 4.1 of the APP.

Agency FAQs

What are my agency’s obligations under the APP?

Agencies must:

  • publish an annual Aboriginal Participation Strategy (see Section 3.3 of the APP).
  • consider opportunities for Aboriginal participation in all major procurement activities over $10 million (excl. GST) and document these opportunities in their Aboriginal Participation Strategy. See Section 3.4 of the APP.
  • report all contracts valued over $50,000 (excl. GST) entered into with an Aboriginal owned business.
  • ensure all relevant suppliers are aware of and comply with their obligations under the APP by including relevant contractual obligations.
  • comply with additional requirements as directed by the NSW Procurement Board.

What measures are optional for agencies under the APP?

Agencies are encouraged to give first consideration (before going to market) to Aboriginal owned businesses on prequalification schemes for contracts valued up to $250,000 (excl. GST).

Agencies are permitted to directly procure goods and services from suitably qualified Aboriginal owned businesses for contracts not covered under existing prequalification schemes valued up to $250,000 (excl. GST).

For more information see Section 3.2 of the APP.

What is an Aboriginal Participation Strategy and what must it include?

An Aboriginal Participation Strategy can be prepared for an individual agency, group of agencies or cluster and provides a public commitment of how the agency will support the objectives and targets of the APP. The strategy must set measurable targets and identify future procurement activities with opportunities for Aboriginal participation, in particular for contracts valued above $10 million (excl. GST).

For more information see Section 3.3 of the APP.

When is my agency required to publish an Aboriginal Participation Strategy?

Agencies must maintain, update and publish online their Aboriginal Participation Strategy at least annually.

What is my agency required to report under the APP?

Agencies must report against targets in their Aboriginal Participation Strategy and must report contracts valued over $50,000 (excl. GST) entered into with an Aboriginal owned business within 45 days after the contract becomes effective.
Agencies must also validate supplier reporting against individual contract's Aboriginal participation requirements.

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