OnTheGo Founder Mick Spencer has his say to Federal Government
The way federal public servants choose the best suppliers to meet billions of dollars worth of contracts is stifling innovation and competitiveness within Australia, the Canberra Business Council says.
It has been backed up by one of the nation’s brightest young entrepreneurs who says, "The industry talk is that if you see it on Austender, you're already a week too late".
The council has called for the bureaucracy to tweak its definition of value for money to make overseas companies partner with Australian entities and for the government to give weight to companies based here because they employ locals and pay taxes - particularly in situations where a local supplier is only slightly more expensive than an overseas competitor.
Government procurement has a massive impact on the Canberra economy. A large number of ACT enterprises rely on Commonwealth-generated work.
But Canberra entrepreneur Mick Spencer, who is building a global sportswear business, said his OnTheGo enterprise had had little opportunity to supply the bureaucracy and found it difficult to find out information about upcoming contracts.
‘‘There can be a fine line between what’s an open tender and what is not,’’ Mr Spencer told Fairfax Media.
"The industry talk is that if you see it on Austender, you're already a week too late".
Mr Spencer said this result was particularly annoying because his company supported multiple local charities and sporting groups, employed numerous Canberrans and paid tax.
‘‘It makes it harder to get the motivation to grow and it leads to Australia losing businesses to other countries,’’ he said.
He said the federal government did not appear to be upholding the promise of Small Business Minister Bruce Billson to nurture home-grown enterprises.