WA Government launches strategy to build procurement capability

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A three-year procurement strategy has been unveiled by the Western Australian Government to build capability of public servants. 

The Procurement Capability Development Strategy 2022-2025 has five central pillars “to realise full value” through procurement: 

  • Pillar 1: Leadership 
  • Pillar 2: Workforce strategy 
  • Pillar 3: Culture and performance 
  • Pillar 4: Systems, processes and tools 
  • Pillar 5: Targeted capability initiatives.

“It will provide targeted, whole-of-sector capability initiatives to address individual,  organisational and sectoral needs,” the strategy says. 

Minister for Finance Dr Tony Buti said the Procurement Capability Strategy would make procurement a “strategic enabler” for the government.

“The WA Government spends more than $16 billion each year procuring goods, services and works,” Mr Buti said. 

“Effective procurement is essential to delivering the State’s critical requirements.” 

Build your procurement capability by signing up for PASA Connect. 

Mr Buti said procurement’s function was broader than “just providing or acquiring goods and services.” 

“It is an important strategic enabler for the WA Government, and we require highly trained and effective procurement professionals to continue to successfully deliver large and complex projects,” Mr Buti said. 

“By investing in a capable workforce and engaging the procurement function early in a project, we can reduce the likelihood of time delays, budget increases and reduced quality.”

The strategy’s introduction comes after WA Government procurement processes were unified in a single framework through Procurement Act 2020 and implementation of the Western Australian Procurement Rules last year. 

Initiatives to focus on developing leadership 

The strategy supports a range of progressive procurement capability development initiatives. 

These initiatives focus on developing leadership, workforce, culture, and performance alongside current tactics that target practitioners through training programs and guidance.

What the strategy aims to achieve

Deliverables the WA Government has earmarked for 2022 include:

  • identifying and implementing short to medium term projects to improve procurement professionalisation
  • improving the Procurement Capability Indicator so that it better accommodates procurement
  • practitioners working across different streams and informs capability gap insight
  • setting priorities for whole-of-government works procurement capability tools, guidance and training.

The Procurement Capability Indicator (PCI), developed with ArcBlue, is a tool which identifies technical capability of procurement professionals. 

It’s used by procurement professionals to identify their current capability in technical procurement activities.

Challenges faced

The strategy also pinpoints a number of key challenges the government must overcome to raise procurement capability including: 

  • equalising the level of maturity in capability development programs across procurement streams
  • balancing foundational level support with initiatives targeted at agencies with greater capability or more experienced procurement staff
  • driving agencies to prioritise capability development while they may be facing existing workload and capacity pressures
  • a skills shortage in the procurement profession.

Read the WA Procurement Capability Strategy.

Build your procurement capability by signing up for PASA Connect. 

About Author

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PASA (Procurement and Supply Australasia) is the leading provider of information, education and networking opportunities to procurement professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, training, awards and PASA CONNECT membership network. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing Pty Ltd. BTTB Marketing has operated under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences and PASA names for over twenty years. https://procurementandsupply.com/

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