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EC4P Pilot Rapid Advancement

The EC4P (Electronic Commerce for Procurement) pilot project at Department of
Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) is proceeding rapidly. NRE is conducting a
trial of the process of engaging suppliers to participate in their electronic procurement
solution. This involves helping suppliers place their products and services on electronic
catalogues. “Trade Fairs” have been held in regional cities such as Warrnambool,
Tatura, Bendigo, Ballarat and Traralgon. Some 95 suppliers have agreed to participate
in the pilot so far and around 55 of these suppliers’ catalogues have been loaded on to
the system ready for use with the balance to be loaded before the system goes live.

In the meantime other departments have been busy preparing their strategies and
business cases for EC4P implementation. The strategy work will be used to form the
basis of a Request for Quote (RFQ) which will then be submitted to selected panel
members. Responses to the RFQ will assist the department’s decision as to which
service provider will then be appointed to implement EC4P.

EC4P Panel
Following a recent review of the EC4P panel strategy, it has been decided to invite and
evaluate new entrants from April 2001. The panel currently consists of four service
providers who provide full electronic procurement solutions for use by departments and
agencies. New entrants will be considered via a formal tender process that is expected
to take about three months. The recent review of the panel strategy was conducted in
conjunction with departments and other key stakeholders.

- Andrew Ferrarese (Tel. 03 9651 2599)
  Project Manager, E-commerce                                     PROCUREMENT UPDATE
                                                            is the newsletter published by Procurement
- Cris Popp (Tel. 03 9651 2587)                          Branch, Department of Treasury and Finance,
                                                         bringing you news on the latest developments
  Project Coordinator, E-commerce
                                                        in procurement and contracting in the Victorian

                                                            Enquiry: Call Lucille Tam (03) 9651 2577
Review of Government Purchasing Arrangements
and Connection with Premier’s Statement on
Openness and Probity
The Review of Victorian Government Purchasing Arrangements was completed by KPMG
Consulting in June 2000. KPMG’s recommendations in the specific area of probity in procurement
have been largely accepted by the Government and implemented as part of the Premier’s
Statement “Ensuring Openness and Probity in Victorian Government Contracting” issued on 11
October 2000. That Statement drew from several sources including KPMG’s Review, Professor Bill
Russell’s “Audit Review of Government Contracting” and two reports of the Public Accounts and
Estimates Committee.

The Premier’s Statement can be found in full via a hotlink from the Victorian Government
Purchasing Board’s (VGPB) website Key directions include:

Independent scrutiny of departmental contracts by VGPB to continue.
Construction contracts will also be subject to independent scrutiny.
Government contracts worth more than $10 million and headline details of all contracts worth more than
$100,000 will now be made publicly available on the Internet. The public can access these contracts at or via a hotlink from the Board’s website.
The Government will disclose up to 70 contracts entered into by Kennet Government on the VGPB
website. A large number of these contracts are already available.
Freedom of Information principles will apply in managing any exceptions (only trade secrets or genuinely
confidential information will be withheld from disclosure, along with material that if disclosed would seriously
harm the public interest).
Ministers will notify Parliament of reasons for non-disclosure of contracts (eg. major events, business
attraction) in annual reports.
Any Government Department letting a tender worth more than $10 million is now required to develop a
probity plan. In addition, the Secretary of each Department will have the option, for particularly large,
sensitive or complex transactions, of appointing an external auditor to provide ongoing advice on probity
issues throughout the tendering process.
All public sector agencies and Government Business Enterprises are required to articulate probity
standards which must be at least as strong as the VGPB’s.

To support the Government’s disclosure requirements, the VGPB has released a policy ‘Disclosure
of Contracts: Contracts Publishing System’. This policy outlines the Government’s contract
reporting requirements in further detail.

KPMG’s other recommendations eg. in the areas of regional or local development impact of
tenders, more consistent application of procurement policy standards across the wider public
sector beyond Government departments, wider monitoring of electronic commerce implementation
strategies, study of reasons for waiving public tender requirements are currently under
consideration by Government and further advice will follow.

For further information, please contact Diana Joslin, Manager Policy Projects on (03) 9651 2275.

- John Rickard (Tel. 03 9651 2162)
  Director, Procurement
Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Annual Report 1999-2000
The Hon Lynne Kosky MP tabled the fifth annual report for the Victorian Government
Purchasing Board in Parliament on 31 October 2000.

The report covers:

Electronic Commerce in the Victorian Government
Accredited Purchasing Unit Procurement Activities
Review of Victorian Government Purchasing Arrangements
Performance Evaluation of Procurement in the Victorian Government
Online Developments
GST Implementation
Multi-million Dollar Savings through Strategic Contracting
Information about the Board
PURIST – Purchasing and Procurement Data across Government.

To obtain your copy of the report, please contact Angelina Cardillo by phone on 03 9651
2398, or email your postal details to

An online version will be available from Monday, 20 November at the following URL:

- Kimberley Jones (Tel. 03 9651 2803)
  Projects Coordinator, Procurement Systems
Three New Board Members
The Governor in Council has approved three new Victorian Government Purchasing
Board members who commenced their terms of office on 1 October, 2000. The new
members are Ms. Faith Fitzgerald, Ms Marissa Di Pasquale and Mr Mark Burford.

The new members bring skills in electronic commerce, policy development and
government business enterprises.

The Procurement Branch provided the new members with a short orientation
presentation the day before they took their seats at their first Board meeting on 26
October 2000.

The Review of Government Purchasing Arrangements carried out by KPMG Consulting
has made recommendations in such areas as electronic commerce and more
consistent application of procurement policies across Government (see separate
article). The new Board will be well placed to continue and strengthen its role in leading
and advising in such areas of policy and standards development.

The re-appointed external members of the VGPB are Mr Robin Jervis-Read and Mr.
Bruce Hartnett. Senior public servants Ms Karen Cleave (Department of Education,
Employment and Training), Mr Alan Stewart (Department of Natural Resources and
Environment) and Mr Lance Wallace (Department of Human Services) were also re-
appointed to the Board.

- Roy Duncanson (Tel. 03 9651 2582)
  Secretary to the Board
PACCER’s Recognition of Current Competencies
Individuals who wish to have their procurement and contracting skills and knowledge
formally recognised may now apply for the Recognition of Current Competencies (RCC)
under PACCER.

RCC (previously known as RPL - Recognition of Prior Learning) is a process that
acknowledges competencies can be gained formally, through education and training
programs, or less formally, through life and/or work experience.

The PACCER RCC enables individuals to be assessed against competency standards
under the Key Area “Procurement and Contract Management” within the National Public
Services Training Package. (The Training Package was endorsed in November 1999
by the National Training Framework Committee and agreed to by all States and
Territory Ministers.)

Suitable candidates for the RCC under PACCER are:

Those nominated by Departments and agencies to fulfil the requirements for
advancement to higher levels of the Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB)
Devolution Accreditation Framework.
Individuals who believe that they do not require procurement and contract
management training but wish to obtain formal recognition of their level of competence.
Individuals wishing to assess their level of competence in procurement and contract
management to identify gaps for further development.

To find out more about the procurement and contract management competency
standards, visit the Public Service Education and Training Australia’s website, go to “National Training Package” then Key Area “Procurement and
Contract Management”.

To find out more about the RCC under PACCER or to apply for assessment, please
contact your PACCER customer service staff on (03) 9651 2590.

- Lucille Tam (Tel. 03 9651 2577)
  Training Co-ordinator,
  PACCER (Procurement and Contracting Centre for Education and Research)

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