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Priority 2: Delivering the expansion program

Find out about expansion Agencies transition to the goods and services policy framework.

From 1 July 2021, the VGPB’s goods and services procurement policy framework was expanded to a further 125 agencies, including TAFEs, water corporations and catchment management authorities. The VGPB framework is now followed by all agencies subject to the Standing Directions of the Financial Management Act 1994External Link (with some exclusions including, for example, health agencies and universities), bringing it in line with the scope of procurement policies for construction and social procurement.

The broader application of VGPB policies is designed to embed consistent, best practice procurement governance arrangements and processes across government. It will enable greater oversight of government spending and wider leveraging of existing SPCs.

Suppliers can also expect to see benefits such as greater visibility of upcoming procurement opportunities and details of contracts awarded.

Over the coming years, incoming agencies will transition to greater use of SPCs. SPCs offer access to aggregated demand, reduced risk, increased efficiency of contracting through pre-agreed contract terms, and centralised supplier due diligence and contract management.

Supporting agencies to transition to the VGPB framework

From 1 July 2021, agencies began a 12-month transition to comply with the VGPB framework. To support agencies and smooth their transition, the VGPB oversaw a substantial program of information sessions, workshops and one-on-one engagements.

During the first half of the year, DTF delivered 25 policy workshops detailing the VGPB policy requirements and providing support to agencies to adapt and align their procurement frameworks to the VGPB policies.

Tailored guidance material was developed to support agencies in their transition, including a model framework and procurement strategy, a downloadable guide and self-assessment checklists to support compliance attestation. All materials are available on the Buying for Victoria website.

Lead departments also played a key role in supporting portfolio agencies during their transition.

During the second half of the year, the focus shifted to one-on-one engagement with agencies, with additional support tailored to the needs of agencies as required.

Agencies were also brought into regular VGPB communication channels – agencies could join the Buyers’ Community of Practice forums to hear updates on procurement policy and practice and send a representative to the Whole of Victorian Government Procurement Officers’ meetings for peer-to-peer learning.

Throughout the transition, DTF has shared advice and support through procurement groups on the Victorian Government’s Innovation Network (an online knowledge-sharing and networking space for government staff).

Transitioning agencies have made great progress. The results of more consistent procurement processes across government agencies, underpinned by strong governance and strategic planning, are starting to come through.

Case study: Regional sports precinct kicking goals with improved procurement practices and technology

Photo of a sports centre with many people walking around enjoying the space

Kardinia Park Stadium TrustExternal Link is one of the 125 agencies transitioning to the VGPB goods and services procurement policy framework as part of the VGPB expansion program. Seeing the value in the VGPB framework, Kardinia Park began aligning their policies before the expansion program was even announced.

Kardinia Park created a CPO role and revised its procurement policy back in 2019 and then developed new guidelines, updated templates and delivered training sessions to roll out the changes.

One of the key benefits of the improved policy and guidance was greater clarity for those conducting and approving procurements.

‘The use of workflow documents and clear delegations has changed the way staff do things for the better.’

Daphne Henderson, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services at Kardinia Park

Since making these changes, Kardinia Park has benefited from the newly aligned policies and guidance, including for purchases of goods and services to support a series of capital works projects.

‘Huge efficiencies have been achieved from the application of our improved procurement guidance, which closely follows the VGPB’s procurement framework.’

Daphne Henderson, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services

Another benefit of aligning with the VGPB framework has been its emphasis on forward planning. Kardinia Park is preparing a forward procurement plan that informs suppliers about upcoming procurements.

While the primary purpose of this plan is for suppliers to better plan for tenders, it has also been useful to Kardinia Park. Daphne reflected that, ‘This change has forced us to start thinking about what’s on the horizon and what resources are needed in the future. This is vital for us as our procurement function is largely decentralised.

The expansion program has also provided an opportunity to establish new procurement networks across organisations. Kardinia Park recently established a community of practice that meets every two months with the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust and the State Sport Centre Trust. The groups share information, improve their skills and work to advance their policy and procurement processes.

Going forward, Kardinia Park is focusing on technology improvements. It will soon adopt a source-to-pay software to manage procurements electronically, minimise paper and manual work and centralise knowledge on a single platform. ‘We’re very excited to embark on our first contract using this technology and we’ll see this all coming together soon, said Daphne.

The Kardinia Park Stadium Trust is a statutory authority and manages the Kardinia Park Precinct that surrounds the 36,000-crowd capacity GMHBA Stadium. The stadium is an icon of Geelong and hosts major events with sizeable economic benefits for the city.

Transition to SPCs

The VGPB is overseeing work to transition expansion agencies to SPCs. To onboard agencies smoothly, transition is occurring progressively over two years, based on agency size and expiry of existing contracts.

Larger agencies began transitioning to SPCs in 2021 supported by the category management teams in DTF, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS). Medium and smaller agencies will transition to SPCs during 2022 and 2023. Agencies with less than $2.5 million in goods and services procurement spending are not required to transition to SPCs but may elect to do so if the SPC meets their needs.

Some agencies have been using SPCs for many years and will continue to do so. The VGPB has been pleased to see some early adopters transitioning to using SPCs ahead of schedule.

To support the transition, SPC category managers from DTF, DPC and DJCS delivered eight information sessions across a range of SPC categories, in addition to the policy workshops noted above.

The focus over the coming months and into 2023 is engaging with agencies to support their transition, including through interactive information and Q&A sessions.

Case study: Victorian TAFE network working together to achieve gold standard procurement practices

The Victorian TAFE Procurement Network was established in 2021 to provide a forum for all Victorian TAFEs to work together and support each other to transition to the VGPB framework under the expansion program.

The network has representatives from all 13 TAFEs located across Victoria who meet every two months to share information and experiences.

‘The meetings have guest speakers and insights from category managers, expansion leads, consultants and procurement experts who share information on what is going on in this area that we might be able to tap into.’

Denise Dyer, VGPB Board Member and Manager of Property and Procurement Services at William Angliss Institute

The main focus for the group has been establishing procurement frameworks, policies and procedures to align to the VGPB framework. Denise said, ‘We’ve been sharing information on frameworks and spend analytics to understand what we spend and what categories we spend it in. This is a great example of engagement in action to support transition to the VGPB framework.

As a result, the network created a category framework to help identify potential areas to collectively aggregate demand or to leverage SPCs. The aim is to make sure the requirements across TAFEs are properly represented and that SPCs align with their requirements – particularly regional and smaller TAFEs.

In between meetings, members continue to share resources and experiences. ‘The network has been a huge success and the TAFEs have been able to help each other with resources, said Denise.

The network has also delivered the following activities to align TAFEs with the VGPB framework:

  • established contract registers and centralised registers for each TAFE’s contracts
  • established contract management and supplier performance management
  • published 12 to 18 months of planned procurement activity on each TAFE’s website for prospective suppliers
  • Linked forward procurement planning in with the budget process – understanding a new project or procurement early and tapping into financial forecasts.

The network will begin focusing on change management to educate buyers. This information will be shared across the network to streamline effort and enable consistent approaches across the sector. The VPSC is running a procurement micro-credential pilot and TAFE staff have been selected to participate in the pilot.

‘The main benefit of transitioning to the VGPB is the lift in staff capability … We’ve made sure the processes and systems are in place and now staff can step through the appropriate procurement process,’

Most TAFEs already use a range of goods and services SPCs. ’The priority now is to work together to reap the benefits from other SPCs and make sure they are fit for purpose,’

Denise Dyer, VGPB Board Member and Manager of Property and Procurement Services at William Angliss Institute

Measuring success

The VGPB is leveraging existing reporting processes to monitor the transition of expansion agencies to its policy framework and SPCs. Performance metrics have been developed to assess the effectiveness and long-term benefits of the expansion program, including data on compliance and SPC transition and spend.

Financial and non-financial benefits associated with SPCs will continue to be reported to the VGPB through the existing SPC benefits and value framework.

Infographic for Priority 2

Image that shows 113 one-to-one meetings with agencies 25 expansion policy workshops, 8 SPC workshops, 5 Expansion Community of Practice Forums, Transition guides and checklists published online
Infographic for Priority 2
  • 113 one-to-one meetings with agencies
  • 25 expansion policy workshops
  • 8 SPC workshops
  • 5 Expansion Community of Practice Forums
  • Transition guides and checklists published online
Download Infographic for Priority 2

Case study: Ambulance Victoria’s procurement technology leap

Photo of two paramedic's wheeling a patient into an ambulance.

Ambulance VictoriaExternal Link began aligning its practices with the VGPB procurement framework as early as 2016, following a review of its procurement governance policy, spend profile and major suppliers. This review spurred Ambulance Victoria to develop a procurement strategy and establish a procurement governance committee – two of the central elements of the VGPB’s governance policy.

The VGPB expansion program has provided a lever for Ambulance Victoria to take its procurement function to the next level. A gap analysis in 2021 against the VGPB policy framework revealed an opportunity to streamline processes and implement new technology solutions to support and speed up Ambulance Victoria’s procurement processes and ensure compliance with the VGPB framework.

To streamline its procurement processes, Ambulance Victoria is investing in a new e-procurement system to manage the procurement process from source to delivery with better reporting and analysis.

’The new e-procurement system will create efficiencies for both staff and suppliers and is a benefit to becoming mandated by VGPB because we have a push to invest in such technology,’

Garry Button, Executive Director Corporate Services at Ambulance Victoria

To raise awareness about new procedures and improve staff capability, Ambulance Victoria improved its documentation and published a step-by-step buying guide on its intranet.

’By using the guide, we’ve got a better structure to follow when managing procurements, said Evelyn Woo, Tenders Manager at Ambulance Victoria.

The next stage of staff training will see the introduction of procurement training modules as part of an e-learning program where some modules will be mandatory for all staff and others will be designed for key staff managing major procurement projects.

‘One of the benefits of the VGPB expansion program was that it raised the profile of procurement within Ambulance Victoria,’

Garry Button, Executive Director Corporate Services at Ambulance Victoria

Ambulance Victoria is a statutory authority established in 2008 to provide statewide emergency pre-hospital care and medical transport to all Victorians.

Ambulance Victoria provides emergency medical response to almost 6.7 million people a year. Procurement is a key enabler for the work of Ambulance Victoria. Some of its key procurement activities include its fleet of ambulances, five helicopters and four fixed-wing planes.

Reviewed 20 September 2022

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