The Federal Government has moved to strengthen its Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP), with additional resources for Supply Nation to monitor Indigenous businesses and taking action against wrongdoing.
The changes have been announced by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion who says the Government was taking a zero-tolerance approach to so-called “blackcladding”.
“The IPP has been a runaway success with over 1000 Indigenous businesses winning over $1.084 billion in Commonwealth contracts since its commencement in July 2015, compared to just 30 Indigenous businesses winning $6.2 million in 2012-13.”
“It has been the catalyst for unprecedented growth in the Indigenous business sector and wealth creation for Indigenous Australians, but unfortunately with such success comes those looking to do the wrong thing.”
“Supply Nation will be given additional resources to continuously monitor the 1600 Indigenous businesses on its Indigenous Business Directory to ensure they are, and remain, bona fide Indigenous businesses.”
“Further, in recognition that joint-ventures can be an ideal vehicle for blackcladding, all joint ventures will now be required to register on Supply Nation’s Indigenous Business Directory, meet a 50 % Indigenous ownership and control test, and have a skills capability transfer and Indigenous workforce plan in place which will be reviewed annually by Supply Nation.”
Indigenous business leader, Mr Warren Mundine, played a key role in advising the Government on this strengthening of the IPP and its broader roadmap for growing the sector – the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.
To ensure a continuation of this valuable advice, the Government is also announcing the creation of a new Indigenous Business and Economic Advisory Council made up of Indigenous businessmen and women, who will support the implementation of these measures.
Mr Mundine will be its inaugural Chair and has welcomed the moves.
“The new measures in the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy will ensure there is support for businesses at every stage of the business cycle and I am so pleased that its implementation will be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesspeople.