In February 2013 Nari Chandler and I walked into an empty office with not much more than a message from the Government – Increase the number and diversity of locally based businesses winning Government work and to drive local investment, create strong value chains from the State’s portfolio of major projects and to support the development of the advanced services sector and leverage opportunities for innovation.

I am proud to say in that time we have achieved an enormous amount through a suite of reform recommendations which transformed the South Australian Industry Participation Policy. There have been other reforms to procurement practices which were impacting on businesses and all this has resulted in a noticeable change in the buying behaviour of agencies and principal contracts.

On 1 January 2018, the role of Industry Advocate was established as a Statutory Authority under the Industry Advocate Act 2017. The Act covers any participant to a contract where the South Australian Industry Participation Policy applies including responsible officers for procurement and principal officers of public authorities. In addition to this the Act commits the Government to maintaining an Industry Participation Policy and strengthens powers of the Advocate to hold contractors to commitments they have made to utilise South Australian workers or materials.

The responsibility for industry and economic participation policy and the assessment of industry participation plans, will remain with Nari Chandler as Executive Director for Public Projects and Participation Division within the Department of State Development.

Ian Nightingale – Industry Advocate