The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are supplying a record share of goods and services to the Australian Government, with the latest procurement statistics showing a $5.4 billion increase in the value of Commonwealth contracts going to SMEs.

In the 2020-21 financial year, SMEs were awarded 45,773 or 54 per cent of contracts with a total value of $18.7 billion, which is the highest level on record and the highest annual increase for SMEs, up from $13.6 billion in 2019-20.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the Morrison Government continued to back SME participation in Commonwealth procurements and continued to exceed its targets in regard to the proportion of contracts going to SMEs.

“Small and medium businesses continue to punch well above their weight in the highly competitive government procurement market,” Minister Birmingham said.

“SMEs are the engine room of our economy, and this strong performance is further demonstration of the huge economic and jobs contribution they make.

“We fully recognise that many small and medium businesses have done it tough during the pandemic. This strong SME performance is a shining light and is a testament to the quality of the goods and services that Australian SMEs continue to produce and deliver.

“Enhancing opportunities for small businesses to bid for and win work will be critical to our ongoing economic recovery and as our nation continues to open up.

“This outcome also reflects our ongoing commitment to boosting industry capability and ensuring a level playing field for Australian SMEs in Commonwealth procurements.”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Stuart Robert said that a series of changes to the Commonwealth procurement framework had helped to put more small businesses in the mix for government procurement work.

“We continue to cut red tape and reduce costs for small businesses within the government procurement market,” Minister Robert said.

“We’ve done this by changing the rules to allow for the direct engagement of SMEs for procurements valued up to $200,000, where the engagement provides a value for money outcome.

“This measure, as well as others like the greater use of whole-of-government panels to reduce the costs of tendering, 5 day payment times for e-invoices, and assessing the domestic economic benefits offered by suppliers for large contracts, are all about making it easier for SMEs to bid and secure Commonwealth contracts.”

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