Government Procurement eyes stretched supply chain for 'critical' ICT devices

Government Procurement eyes stretched supply chain for 'critical' ICT devices

Agencies warned to document emergency procurements made during lockdown.

Government agencies are seeking secure content management systems.

Government agencies are seeking secure content management systems.

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NZ Government Procurement is working with all-of-government suppliers to understand stock levels and monitor supply chains of critical items such as ICT devices.

"We will work with suppliers to allocate stock across government, if supply becomes constrained," a post from the MBIE unit said. 

Agencies also needed to maintain regular contact with their own suppliers about stocks if these suppliers were not all of government suppliers.

"Please continue to take an all of government view when ordering supplies and consider that essential services may need to be prioritised," New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) said.

Agencies were also warned the threshold and level of scrutiny for any "emergency" procurement activity related to current COVID-19 restrictions would be high.

In emergency situations government procurement rules allow agencies to adopt accelerated procurement processes for goods and services required for an emergency response.

However, the use of such exceptions has drawn criticism, especially in ICT, and the bar is being lifted, New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP), a division of MBIE, told agencies yesterday.

Earlier this year, health software developer Orion Health and industry group NZRise took the Ministry of Health to task for its "emergency" award of $38 million of business to Salesforce.

"Given the events of the last year, it is expected that agencies will have contingency planning in place to allow for the provision of goods and services if an emergency, supply shortage or other future unforeseen event arises," NZGP said in its post.

Agencies were expected to apply the most appropriate procurement practice possible given the circumstances, immediacy of the need to respond and the long-term impact on the market.

"In any case, you should clearly document the facts and circumstances justifying the procurement approaches taken, and complete a contract award notice on GETS, where appropriate," NZGP said.

Agencies also needed to consider their options for dealing with tenders already in the market, including procurements still open on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS).

"Extending the deadline on tenders currently open on GETS gives businesses more time to respond, and could improve the quality of the responses you receive," NZGP advised.

"Make sure you communicate changes clearly through GETS and any other appropriate channels."

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Tags procurementGovernment procurementMinistry of Business Innovation and EmploymentMBIEgovernment



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