Message from the Chair in 2022-2023

Message from Ms Nadine Lennie, Chair, Victorian Government Purchasing Board.

Photo of Nadine Lennie, Victorian Government Purchasing Board Chair

Nadine Lennie
Chair, Victorian Government Purchasing Board

Over the past year, the Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB) made important progress on its 4 strategic priorities. These priorities were established in March 2021 as part of our 3-year strategic plan to advance the VGPB’s mission to build long-term value for government procurement. With the plan now in its third year, it was timely for the Board to reflect on the progress made against these strategic priorities.

Given the good results we are seeing across all areas, we have introduced a fifth strategic priority this year focused on uplifting procurement capability across the Victorian Government. This priority will further support work under our existing priorities to streamline and simplify procurement processes across the Victorian Public Service.

Following a machinery of government change effective 1 January 2023, the VGPB and the supporting team from the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) transitioned to the newly established Department of Government Services (DGS) to support the Minister for Government Services in implementing the Government’s vision for fit-for-purpose procurement.

I am excited about our continued progress and some of our achievements are featured through the case studies in this report.

Delivering our strategic priorities

We now have in place a leading-edge procurement data analytics function in DGS. This function is helping to identify opportunities for cost savings with new state purchase contracts (SPCs) and providing customised dashboards for SPC category managers to drive data-based decision-making.

In 2021–22, the VGPB led an intensive engagement program to support around 125 expansion agencies to transition to the VGPB framework. This year, we’ve deepened our engagement across the broader group of agencies now under the VGPB. We’re providing ongoing support to help agencies strengthen their alignment with VGPB policies and to transition agencies to SPCs where it's beneficial. We recognise and appreciate the dedication shown by these expansion agencies in transitioning and embedding new ways of working.

On the policy front, the VGPB created new guidance material in consultation with chief procurement officers (CPOs) to help buyers achieve better value for money and ensure compliance with transparency requirements. We continue to simplify and streamline the way in which government buyers navigate the procurement landscape, and this remains a strategic focus for the Board in the coming year.

In January this year, the VGPB reviewed progress against the strategic priorities developed in 2021. A key outcome from this review was agreement on the importance of continuing to focus on streamlining and simplifying the procurement landscape for both buyers and suppliers. To this end, it was agreed that the VGPB could play a larger role in building procurement capability across government. This will help buyers to navigate the procurement landscape and uplift engagement with the supply market. As a result, the Board has added this as an additional strategic priority. Work has already started to develop a capability strategy, with the initial objective of releasing a set of eLearning modules.

Board renewal

I am very pleased to welcome incoming Board member, Charleene Mundine who joined the Board in July 2022. Charleene brings a wealth of experience across the procurement landscape, including social procurement and working with Aboriginal businesses. Charleene has already made a significant contribution in her first year of service. During the year, we also reappointed 2 Board members, Denise Dyer and Peter Lane, for another 3-year term. They each continue to share their expertise and insightful perspectives.

I look forward to working with all Board members in this next phase of the VGPB’s development.

Stakeholder engagement

Throughout 2022–23, the VGPB expanded its engagement with a range of stakeholders to raise the profile of procurement as a source of significant value and policy development and build awareness of the value that procurement professionals can bring. It has been a pleasure for the Board to welcome department and expansion agency CPOs to our meetings. These engagements have helped deepen the VGPB’s understanding of the varied procurement operations, challenges and achievements across the expanded group of VGPB agencies, which helps us to target our priorities and activities to their needs.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the team in DGS for their continued hard work and support to the VGPB. Thank you also to the CPOs of the departments and agencies and their teams for their cooperation and support in helping us progress our strategic priorities.

Nadine Lennie
Chair, Victorian Government Purchasing Board