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Federal government unveils $220 million print tender shake up

Friday, 04 December 2009
By Print21

Rules of engagement for printers working with government agencies changes with new Australian Government procurement program for Commonwealth printing needs.

The Design, Production and Distribution Tender program will enable 12 Government agencies to access printing services from 176 approved businesses without having to go through their own tender process.

The 12 agencies are: Australian Bureau of Statistics; Australian Hearing; Centrelink; ComSuper; Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts; Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Department of Health and Ageing; Department of Human Services; Department of Immigration and Citizenship; Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; and Medicare Australia.

Announcing the news, Minister for Human Services, Chris Bowen MP, (pictured) and Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner MP, said that the program will deliver better value to Australian taxpayers.

“This five-year plan streamlines the way Government engages with the Australian printing industry, reducing the administrative burden on both Government and industry,” Bowen said.

“It will save millions of dollars and many hours of paperwork through reduced administrative costs and less red tape for businesses.”

According to Printing Industries CEO, Philip Andersen, the new print procurement plan is a good outcome for the industry because it provides access for print companies to government contracts and includes a budgeted five-year commitment to print.

“After almost 12 months of negotiation and discussion with officials from Centrelink and the Department of Finance, we believe the new arrangements are a good outcome for the industry and for the continuing important emphasis on print as a primary communication medium,” he said.

“This is a very important win for us and for our members and for print itself at a time when this highly effective and environmentally friendly communication medium is being threatened from all directions.”

Andersen said that a key component of Printing Industries discussions with the government had been highlighting the importance of departments having close and ongoing relationships with print suppliers that could help deliver value for money, access to innovative processes and products, improvements to service and quality and greater responsiveness to individual agency and department needs.

“Our industry is dynamic and innovative and is taking advantage of a vast array of new technologies to improve and expand its services. It is heartening that we now have this commitment from the Federal Government at this time,” he said.

The arrangements will allow 12 government agencies to access printing services from an approved pool of 176 suppliers comprising printing, print management, creative and design and warehousing and distribution companies.

Print management group, Stream Solutions, also welcomed the news. Clive Steele, director of business development, said that the company was “supportive of the initiative.”

“Centrelink has been a clear leader in the government sector for several years in the procurement of print and it is entirely appropriate that they have been selected to lead this initiative,” he said.

“Both the current model used by Centrelink and new model to be used by several participating Agencies to procure print ensure that a wide range of printers, both large and small, can bid for government work on a level playing field.”

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