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​​Government procurement principles

The principles of Government Procurement apply to all government agencies and provide government’s overarching values. They apply even if the Rules do not. Agencies should use the principles for guidance and to help make good procurement decisions.

Take time to read the five principles. You need to understand how they apply to the work that you do.

The five principles are:

1. Plan and manage for great results

  • Identify what you need, including what broader outcomes should be achieved, 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).
  • Seek opportunities to involve New Zealand businesses, including Māori, Pasifika and regional businesses and social enterprises.
  • Make it easy for all suppliers (small and large) to do business with government.
  • Be open to subcontracting opportunities in big projects.
  • Clearly explain how you will assess proposals – so suppliers 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.
  • Choose suppliers that comply with the Government’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • 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 public value – account for all costs and benefits over the lifetime of the goods or services.
  • Make balanced decisions – consider the possible social, environmental, economic effects and cultural outcomes that should be achieved.
  • 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.