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New policy aims to deliver added public value to council spend

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Each year, Hastings District Council invests more than $100m in infrastructure, facilities, goods and services, and this week will vote on adopting a new policy aimed at ensuring that not only is a good price obtained, but that there are  additional benefits for the community and the economy.

Based on the latest government Rules of Procurement released in October 2019, council’s procurement policy and strategy includes the change in government procurement focus from “value for money” to “public value”.

It seeks to achieve additional positive economic, social, environmental and cultural outcomes, at the same time ensuring competitive pricing and maintaining quality standards.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the timing of the new policy and strategy was critical in helping the economy recover from the effects of COVID-19 by allowing council to define its priorities, such as supporting specific sectors within the community, and working with suppliers to help achieve the outcomes.

“It’s not about spending more money, it’s about taking a holistic approach to where and how money is spent – fairly and consistently supporting and encouraging businesses and suppliers to deliver better outcomes for the community.

“By looking beyond the transactional value of procurement, we can effectively deliver added benefits by supporting businesses that will help us achieve outcomes, such as new employment and skills training opportunities.”

Mrs Hazlehurst said council would work with suppliers to achieve its objectives while also requiring employers to maintain health, safety and employment standards for workers.

“We want to support those businesses who are committed to our community - creating jobs, providing training, and caring for our environment.

“As we head into the recovery phase of COVID-19 this approach becomes even more important and fits with our council’s vision of building on our district’s strengths and creating opportunities to benefit all.”

The policy adds to the wider regional strategy that saw the Hawke’s Bay’s five councils join forces late last year to appoint a regional strategic procurement director whose role is to oversee a collective, strategic approach to procurement designed to produce better outcomes for the region.

7 May 2020

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