City Council adopts new Buy Ipswich, buy local approach

Ipswich City Council has adopted a new Buy Ipswich approach as part of a revised Procurement Policy 2020-21.

Mayor Teresa Harding said it will ensure that local businesses receive more favourable consideration in council’s procurement of goods and services.

“This new policy delivers on my commitment to enforce a buy local approach and will strengthen council’s ability to support local business and industry development,” Mayor Harding said.

The new Buy Ipswich approach was passed by councillors at a Council Special Meeting held on Tuesday 17 June.

Mayor Harding said council’s procurement policy and code of practice procedure will ensure that local business and industry in the Ipswich City Council local government area get more share of contracts.

“The new Buy Ipswich approach provides a framework to council officers when purchasing future goods, services and/or works that deliver better outcomes for local business and industry,” she said.

“It is designed to be simple to implement and clear in its requirements from a business perspective.”

Council earlier adopted the revised Procurement Policy 2020-21 which will transform its vital procurement model and function.

“This council is absolutely committed to developing competitive and thriving local businesses and industries,” Mayor Harding said.

“Investing in the Ipswich economy will yield social and economic benefits for the community as a whole, including greater opportunities for employment, skills, education and business development.

“The development of competitive local business and industry is now an explicit priority in Council’s procurement process.

“Council developed Buy Ipswich in consultation with key stakeholders and will continue to work with local businesses and industries to support and enable them to compete effectively in the market.”

From 1 July 2020, when applying the Local Government Act 2009 sound contracting principle ‘development of competitive local business and industry’, council procurement officers will apply the following:

  •  where quotes are sought for all contracts with an expected value less than $50,000, only seek quotes from local businesses in the first instance (where such are assessed to be reasonably capable of supplying council’s needs of value for money), and
  • where quotes are sought for all contracts with an expected value less than $200,000, provide a 20 per cent local content preferential weighting to the scoring evaluation advertised by council, or
  • where quotes are sought for all contracts with an expected value greater than $200,000, provide a 15 per cent Local Economy Support preferential weighting to the scoring evaluation advertised by council.

Mayor Harding said while there may be financial impacts as a result of restricting quotes and tenders to local suppliers, using council’s purchasing power to stimulate local business growth was important, especially in the current climate.

“The Ipswich community will ultimately be the beneficiaries of targeted local purchasing” she said.

“Spending more money locally is a win for Ipswich as it means more local jobs and investment in our people.”

The Buy Ipswich approach will be reviewed by June 2021 for applicability, effectiveness, and consistency with relevant legislation, council resolutions, and other council documents.

Council will also publish data to the new Transparency and Integrity Hub on the total value and the proportion of local spend for each quarter.

Council has briefed the Ipswich Region Chamber of Commerce, and will meet later with the Greater Springfield chamber. The Buy Ipswich approach was received favourably with local businesses looking forward to capitalise on the opportunity.

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