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​​Government procurement principles

​The principles apply to all government agencies when buying goods and services. They are the foundations for good procurement practice.

The five principles are:

1. Plan and manage for great results

  • Identify what you need and then plan how to get it.
  • Set up a team with the right mix of skills and experience.
  • Involve suppliers early – let them know what you want and keep talking.
  • Take the time to understand the market and your effect on it. Be open to new ideas and solutions.
  • Choose the right process – proportional to the size, complexity and any risks involved.
  • Encourage e-business (for example, tenders sent by email).

2. Be fair to all suppliers

  • Create competition and encourage capable suppliers to respond.
  • Treat all suppliers equally – we don’t discriminate (this is part of our international obligations).
  • Give NZ suppliers a full and fair opportunity to compete.
  • Make it easy for all suppliers (small to large) to do business with us.
  • Be open to subcontracting opportunities in big projects.
  • Clearly explain how you will assess suppliers’ proposals – so they know what to focus on.
  • Talk to unsuccessful suppliers so they can learn and know how to improve next time.

3. Get the right supplier

  • Be clear about what you need and fair in how you assess suppliers – don’t string suppliers along.
  • Choose the right supplier who can deliver what you need, at a fair price and on time.
  • Build demanding, but fair and productive relationships with suppliers.
  • Make it worthwhile for suppliers – encourage and reward them to deliver great results.
  • Identify relevant risks and get the right person to manage them.

4. Get the best deal for everyone

  • Get best value for money – account for all costs and benefits over the lifetime of the goods or services.
  • Make balanced decisions – consider the social, environmental and economic effects of the deal.
  • Encourage and be receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things – don’t be too prescriptive.
  • Take calculated risks and reward new ideas.
  • Have clear performance measures – monitor and manage to make sure you get great results.
  • Work together with suppliers to make ongoing savings and improvements.
  • It’s more than just agreeing the deal – be accountable for the results.

5. Play by the rules

  • Be accountable, transparent and reasonable.
  • Make sure everyone involved in the process acts responsibly, lawfully and with integrity.
  • Stay impartial – identify and manage conflicts of interest.
  • Protect suppliers’ commercially sensitive information and intellectual property.