Local Government Supply Opportunities

Posted December 24, 2015

Emma Peters 1

Local Buy Regional Client-Relations officer Emma Peters

Lucrative supply opportunities may be rare these days but Local Buy is offering access to a market worth well over $300M. Local Buy is the procurement arm of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) that helps councils meet compliance regulations and make the process easier.

Legislation requires a quotation process for purchases worth between $15,000 and $200,000 and open market tendering for all purchases over $200,000 unless a valid exemption applies.

Local Buy pre-qualification is an exemption to those requirements as detailed by Local Buy Regional Client-Relations officer Emma Peters.

“We estimate the tender process to cost around $30,000.” Ms Peters said.

“This includes writing the specifications, putting it out to tender, allowing 21 days to respond, answering queries and allocating and managing the tender.”

“The tender process can cost more to manage than the tender is worth. That’s where Local Buy comes into play.”

Local Buy was formed 15 years ago to assist councils with purchasing goods and services and has evolved to include 15 staff and hundreds of pre-qualified suppliers in over more than forty arrangements.

The key word there is ‘pre-qualified’.

Suppliers have been through a full and open tender to become registered with Local Buy so they meet legislative requirements.

“Pre-qualified suppliers provide services and consumables that we’d expect councils would want to purchase on a regular basis,” Ms Peters said.

“This ranges from civil construction equipment to water treatment chemicals. For instance, we have more than 190 businesses registered for engineering consultancy throughout Queensland covering every discipline.”

“On one hand, no-one wants to see money being spent outside the local government boundaries and in fact there is a local purchasing bias in some Council tenders.

“On the other hand, local suppliers can tender with Local Buy to become a pre-qualified supplier and have an opportunity to do business with all 77 councils in Queensland.

“For example the motor-vehicle tender opens in January 2016 and there are some dealers in rural areas who are not yet registered with Local Buy. Most councils have a ‘local’ preference in their purchasing policy and if their local suppliers are not registered with Local Buy, they may not be able to utilise our contracts.

“My role in in North Queensland is to help make more councils aware of how we can make purchasing easier for them through Local Buy contracts and suppliers aware of the opportunities.”

Local Buy is funded by a rebate on all business conducted with councils which is remitted back to the LGAQ who use the money for the benefit of all Queensland councils.

Emma Peters can be contacted at epeters@localbuy.net.au

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