The 2020–21 year was an extraordinary one for government procurement and for the Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB). Departments and agencies were required to move quickly and respond to a rapidly changing environment, deliver services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and operate seamlessly during extended periods with movement restrictions. Many departments and agencies were then required to prepare for, and implement, transformative programs to stimulate economic and social recovery.
Despite these challenges, the VGPB continued to advance the Victorian Government’s procurement reform agenda. A key milestone in this reform program was the expansion of the VGPB’s policy framework to cover an additional 125 agencies from 1 July 2021. This reform will establish consistent processes across government agencies, allow these agencies to achieve greater value-for-money outcomes and provide government with greater oversight of its spending.
Another key milestone in 2020–21 was the establishment of procurement data collection and analytics capability within the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF). This capability is critical to enable better data-driven procurement decision-making and promote more streamlined processes for buyers and suppliers.
Board renewal remains important, with the focus during the year on maintaining an appropriate balance between experience and fresh perspectives.
Antoinette Brandi retired as Chair in October 2020. I wish to thank Antoinette for her contributions and commitment to the VGPB throughout her five-year tenure. Antoinette led the VGPB through a period of substantial change, culminating in the Government’s decision to implement the expansion reform agenda.
In October 2020, Timothy Lyons retired after five years and in June 2021, Russell Yardley retired after nine years with the VGPB. I take this opportunity to thank both Tim and Russell for their significant contributions to government procurement activities during their time with the Board.
We also welcomed two new members during the year being Samantha Winter and Raoul Wainwright. Samantha and Raoul bring considerable experience to the Board, and I look forward to working with them in this next phase of the VGPB’s development.
In 2020–21, the Board revised its strategic priorities in consultation with the departmental chief procurement officers. The four new priorities agreed by the Board encompass the ongoing programs of work to successfully expand the VGPB policy framework to the additional 125 agencies, and continue to grow the data collection and analytics capability within DTF.
The priorities also include new focus areas to build the recognition of procurement as a strategic lever to achieve government objectives, and to streamline and simplify the procurement framework to create better quality procurement outcomes.
The four strategic priorities and related activities this past year are covered under VGPB activities in 2020–21.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank the Procurement Policy and Reform team in DTF for their continued hard work and support. The team worked diligently during a challenging year to support the VGPB, and to develop and implement activities to support delivery of the strategic priorities.
We also appreciate our close working relationship with the chief procurement officers in the various government departments and agencies, as their input and expertise contribute greatly to the delivery by government of quality procurement practices.
With clear strategic priorities now in place, the focus for the coming years is to deliver action plans against these priorities, and to support the Victorian Government to become a buyer of choice.
With an energised team and a clear focus, we look forward to achieving good procurement outcomes for Victoria in the year ahead.
Chair, Victorian Government Purchasing Board
Reviewed 26 October 2021