Port Macquarie - Hastings Council pilots centralised purchasing and procurement model

Article image - Port Macquarie - Hastings Council pilots centralised purchasing and procurement model Procurement Coordinator Michael Robinson with the new system.

Port Macquarie - Hastings Council has proven the benefits of a strategic, centralised purchasing and procurement process as a part of a pilot program involving several mid north coast councils In New South Wales.

As a result, the development and implementing of a new set of tools has significantly improved the functions of procurement within the organisation and has helped deliver triple bottom line results.

Procurement Coordinator Michael Robinson said several strategies were developed through the Procurement Excellence Pilot Program and are currently being implemented to assist organisational change.

These included developing a road map to drive and strengthen policies and procedures over the short, medium and long term.

Centralising purchasing using an online requisition system has resulted in a more streamlined and accountable process.

"The process from a requisition being created, to the supplier receiving a purchase order can be done in minutes," he said.

"It is a paperless and fully automated system, but more importantly provides Council with a much improved audit trail and KPI tracking system, and ensures that policy and procedure are followed every time.

What we aim to do is better document and demonstrate to the community that Council is delivering greater financial management in an environmentally and socially sustainable way, with robust and transparent procedures that can withstand any scrutiny."

Additionally, Council spent six months developing the Tender Toolbox which provides a set of templates and documentation to assist users through a step-by-step tendering process.

The toolbox is now a consistent set of documents used by the procurement division to assist and coordinate tenders with staff.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is part of the Mid North Group of Council (MIDGOC) Procurement Alliance which is proving to be an effective forum to develop procurement strategies that is being consistently applied throughout the region.

The MIDGOC Procurement Alliance has received funding to have procurement training delivered to 20 staff from the seven member councils to raise the skills of procurement teams.

Michael Robinson said without a centralised system of procurement to oversee and ensure compliance, policies and procedures can become largely irrelevant.

"Councils need to drive and help raise the profile of the procurement function within their organisations beyond an administrative function." he said.