Managing national security risks in public procurement is an area of concern for the Government. We have been working with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) on this issue.
States typically make efforts to influence other states. However, national security risks arise when their actions are purposely misleading, deceptive, with the aim of adversely impacting New Zealand. The supply of goods and services could be a way in which this is achieved. This could be by granting a foreign state access to, or control over, sensitive New Zealand assets – either physical or digital.
Last year we consulted with agencies on this issue. Feedback reinforced the view we need tools to better deal with these issues. Cabinet recently considered this and gave New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) approval to introduce a new sub-Rule. When considering excluding a supplier, agencies should use NZGP issued guidance. This will assist in assessing and managing national security risks in procurement. This will come into effect from 14 August 2023 for any new procurements.
The guidance will provide a consistent all-of government approach and help agencies:
- to determine whether a risk exists
- by covering what are national security risks
- by providing a supplier risk matrix
- by including a framework of how to go about considering mitigation in planning, sourcing and managing stages; and
- by suggesting good practice considerations and contract clauses.
Agencies will not need to use this guidance for all their procurements. We have created a guide which will help agencies determine whether their procurement may pose a threat to national security.
Later this year we will host a Knowledge Hour to support agencies, invite questions and facilitate collaboration.