Commenting on the launch of the ICT and Digital Sovereign Procurement Taskforce, NSW small business minister Damien Tudehope said the taskforce would look at ways to increase spend on small and medium enterprises, Aboriginal organisations, disability enterprises and start-ups, stimulating the local digital economy and extending it through regional NSW.
“We have the best small businesses in Australia right here in NSW who deliver amazing products and services and we should always be looking at ways to make sure these businesses are getting more government work,” Mr Tudehope said.
The comments come following a report that revealed that small business is locked out of many government contracts, with around 54 per cent of them reporting it is very hard for them to gain a position on public and private sector supplier panels.
The Department of Finance said small business receives one-quarter (26 per cent) of the $65 billion worth of federal government contracts, despite the sector making up two-thirds of the economy by employment.
The paper also recommended that the federal government should consider creating a small-business procurement panel for any government contract under $10 million.
NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the taskforce will establish a greater diversity of digital/ICT service providers and suppliers who engage with the NSW government.
“It’s all about levelling the playing field and ensuring small and medium enterprises can compete on an equal footing,” Mr Dominello said.
“The NSW government has committed $1.6 billion to transforming government services, and this investment will help local small and medium enterprises and start-ups to grow, building critical sovereign capability for the future here in NSW.”