Mrs Armitage asked a question of the Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council -
(1) Does the Government have a policy of buying Tasmanian food, including eggs and fresh produce, for state agencies, including the prison and hospitals?
(2) (a) What are the details of contracts currently in place for the supply of eggs and fresh produce for state agencies, including the prison and hospitals; and
(b) how many of these contracts are with Tasmanian producers?
Dr Goodwin replied -
(1) There is no whole-of-government policy in relation to the purchase of Tasmanian food specifically. Agencies are responsible for their own purchasing decisions in relation to such matters, as each is best placed to understand its own specific circumstances and needs. However, such decisions are required to be undertaken in accordance with the Treasurer's Instructions, including the Government's procurement principles. These principles are: value for money; open and effective competition; conducting purchasing activities ethically and in accordance with a code of conduct; and enhancing opportunities for local business, including adoption of the requirements of the Government's Buy Local policy.
The Buy Local policy, which was released in May 2014, is aimed at increasing awareness of the requirements for, and benefits in, buying locally, and includes a local small and medium enterprises benefits test, mandatory disaggregation of large or statewide contracts and the use of industry participation plans. The policy also requires improved planning requirements by agencies - to focus on the impacts of buying locally - as well as increased transparency.
(2) (a) The Tasmania Prison Service undertakes procurement in accordance with Government policies and procedures, including the Treasurer's instructions.
Eggs are procured through an approved government supplier that purchases barn eggs and egg pulp from a local supplier. All fresh produce is procured through best price and availability through two local providers. The Tasmania Prison Service does not currently have contractual obligations for these two food groups.
There are no current contracts for eggs or fresh - not processed - fruit and vegetables with any of the three Tasmanian Health Organisations.
Both Tasmanian Health Organisations North-West and North get prices from vegetable suppliers each week and choose the best price/quality options. The Tasmanian Health Organisation South uses the same supplier each week but monitors pricing regularly to ensure value for money.
(b) All the current suppliers utilised by the Tasmanian Health Organisations and Tasmania Prison Service for the supply of eggs and fresh produce are local providers.