Finance has led the Government’s commitment to increasing the economic participation of Aboriginal businesses through the implementation of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy and is on track to exceed the first year mandated target by 400 per cent.
In the first six months of the Policy, more than four per cent of all State Government contracts have been awarded to registered Aboriginal businesses with 98 per cent of those based in Western Australia. This is a significant outcome that demonstrates the strength of the local Aboriginal business sector.
The Policy requires WA government agencies to award a minimum of one per cent of contracts to registered Aboriginal business throughout the 2018-19 financial year.
A total of 74 government contracts were awarded to 53 registered Aboriginal businesses from 1 July to 31 December 2018, representing an approximate value of $25 million.
Finance has been integral to the implementation and success of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy. We have undertaken a number of education and training sessions with Aboriginal businesses and government agencies in the metropolitan area, Kalgoorlie and Karratha during the 2018-19 financial year.
Additional training will be delivered across the State to Aboriginal businesses in regional and metropolitan locations from June to September 2019. The goal of this training is to ensure government procurement processes and practices are understood to maximise the opportunity for Aboriginal businesses to harness opportunities presented by the Policy.
Finance will soon award contracts for capability building services to further support the development of the Aboriginal business sector, including emerging Aboriginal businesses located throughout Western Australia.
Another Aboriginal Business Expo will be held late in 2019, which will continue to support relationship building between government and the Aboriginal business sector. This year’s event will celebrate outcomes from the first year of the Policy and see government present contracting opportunities to the Aboriginal business sector. The 2018 expo saw more than 60 Aboriginal businesses connect with approximately 200 government attendees.