New initiatives to boost Rotorua ‘buy local’ approach
Tuesday 14 January 2014
New council initiatives to boost Rotorua ‘buy local’ approach
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick is signalling a raft of changes to Rotorua District Council (RDC) procurement processes, giving local businesses more opportunity to tender competitively for council business.
Mrs Chadwick said the decision to more proactively promote ‘buy local’ opportunities was a direct response to pleas from the business community heard during the recent elections.
“There was a strong message that changes were needed to provide more opportunities for local economic growth.
“We heard that message loud and clear, and we listened. So these new measures are aimed at helping to grow the capacity of local businesses to secure council contracts, and in turn provide further incentive and stimulus for economic growth.”
The council has agreed to introduce a number of new initiatives to support a stronger Rotorua ‘buy local’ approach, including:
• A 12 month trial of a ‘local economic impact’ factor for consideration in procurement processes;
• Spreading timing and steadying the level of capital works projects and related contracts to help smaller local businesses achieve the scope and scale needed to compete;
• Developing procurement plans to specifically support more local service delivery potential;
• Reviewing current tender processes and contract documentation to identify tendering barriers for smaller local providers;
• Establishing more local preferred supplier panels for trades and services, and for business consulting services;
• Exploring additional alliance and partnering options for delivery of council services;
• Setting up a tenders panel with two elected members and two senior council managers to overview procurement integrity and recommend necessary changes;
• Closer liaison with local providers around procurement and council expenditure.
Mayor Steve Chadwick emphasised that the new initiatives were not about awarding contracts to uncompetitive businesses simply because they happened to be locally based.
“Spending any more of our ratepayers’ money than is necessary for council work would not be prudent financial management.
“However we can and we will make sure the playing field is as level as possible so that our local businesses and contractors have every chance of competitively tendering for council business - and being successful.
“There will always remain some occasions where a contract may ultimately need to be awarded to an outside company for reasons such as scale or specialist technical expertise requirements. But our tender processes will now allow local economic impact factors to be taken into account on these occasions, including things like local employment potential and use of Rotorua-based sub-contractors.
“These enhancements will ensure we continue to fulfil our local government obligations for fairness and transparency in awarding contracts, and for giving our ratepayers value-for-money.
“They also support our Rotorua 2030 vision, and the proposed key goal for boosting business enterprise and developing a long-term sustainable economy for our district,” said Mrs Chadwick.