We are stuffed. We are so, so stuffed.

This is a link to a course being run by UTS – University of Technology Sydney.

They are running a course at the cost of $1,200 per head to explain to people how best to win government business.

Yes.  One arm of government charging the private sector a fee to explain how to sell to government,

This course demystifies the complexity of public sector procurement and helps you to develop practical plans to capture your share of the $150 billion worth of annual government expenditure across goods and services.

According to UTS:

There has never been a more important time than now to consider the diversity of your customer base. If the government sector is not already a significant portion of your revenue, you should seriously think about developing new sales and marketing plans targeting government as a client.

And what is the first “learning outcome”:

Understand why it’s not always about the cheapest price

It would probably be covered in the content but what also is important:

  • which ex-politicians or ex-senior public servants should be hired to help.
  • how to lobby the government to undermine your competitors and/or to restructure the procurement to meet your needs and not the tax payer’s.
  • why diversity is more important than price and quality.

At a time when government accounts for more than 50% of GDP this is seems par for the course.

We are stuffed. We are so, so stuffed.

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13 Responses to We are stuffed. We are so, so stuffed.

  1. Nob

    Yep, Australia is rooted, rubber booted and electrocuted (but saved by the blackout).

    South Africa or Argentina – choose your fate.

    Look up “tenderpreneur”.
    If you can’t beat em …

  2. John Bayley

    The next logical step is of course to get rid of that pesky private sector altogether and simply nationalise the entire economy.

    Then we will be able to abolish inequality, finally. And we’ll have climate change licked to boot. And the beer virus, too.

    Did I forget anything, comrades?

  3. mem

    No doubt the course will have input from private security firms with experience in securing contracts with the Victorian government during times of emergency. This section will cover important aspects such as who you know in the Labor government and union sector (currying favor with mates) and presenting your business as a diversified, gender equal and indigenous operator.

  4. Rob

    The first learning outcome statement is wrong. It’s mostly about the cheapest price. It’s written by UTS as a hook to snare the gullible. I’ve pitched, won and lost many tenders and consulted to Govt procurement so I know how the selection process works. It’s awful and designed to protect their masters.

  5. HGS

    Talked with a group of European uni students a decade or so go. Every one, every one, was doing a degree in government regulation. No longer technology or literature, now it is learning the regulations so you are employable in government and business.

  6. Eyrie

    I’ve dealt with government in the past. Sold stuff to CAA, RAAF, DSTO etc.

    Made a decision a while ago to no longer do business with government.

  7. Bob

    As someone who has “sold to government” at all levels over many years, let me assure all that this course is a waste of time.
    With government RFPs, the fix is always in from the start, 100% of the time. I’ve witnessed the winks & nods, the deluded belief that it’s a level playing field, and more.
    They always do elaborate dances representing “fairness”, “transparency” etc., but they are dances. The decision as to who gets the business has been made well before the RFP goes out.
    It’s at its worst in local governments – the City of Sydney being notorious for using RFPs as a political tool to donate ratepayers money to its cluster of Alphabet People luvvies.
    States reward ‘correct-think’ organisations that embraces the whole toxic cocktail of Leftist views.
    The Feds are more cautious as they fear scrutiny.
    Be assured, government business is a grant, a payoff, and government RFPs are a fraudulent piece of street theatre.

  8. H B Bear

    Is it being run by Geoff Dixon and redundant QANTAS executives?

  9. Tel

    Sounds like a very practical course.

    The private business will be smart enough to inflate their prices to easily cover the $1200, so they won’t be any worse off … UTS can earn money without being a burden on the taxpayer. You know it makes sense.

    Understand why it’s not always about the cheapest price

    Hopefully they give Milton Friedman’s explanation:

    The 4 Ways Of Spending

    1) Spend your own money on yourself.
    2) Spend your own money on somebody else.
    3) Spend somebody else’s money on yourself.
    4) Spend somebody else’s money on somebody else.

    This is all you need to understand to see why it’s not about the cheapest price, nor about the best product for that matter. Look … you can’t blame a university for teaching some theory that is solid … and then what people choose to do with that understanding (from a moral standpoint) is their own decision. If more people understood this they might also become better informed voters.

  10. While courses like this are most likely crap, it is important to note that it’s private industry that supplies everything that the government consumes. Government is an important contributor to the existence of private industry, large, medium or small. And if private industry takes advantage of what’s available, well, that private enterprise.

  11. Speedbox

    Rob
    #3589006, posted on September 18, 2020 at 7:58 am
    The first learning outcome statement is wrong. It’s mostly about the cheapest price.

    ….consulted to Govt procurement so I know how the selection process works.

    With regard to QLD and NSW, mostly no. Cheapest price is rarely the dominant evaluation criteria these days unless you’re supplying a basic readily available item in a competitive supplier market. For everything else, there has been a distinct shift in criteria to favour methodology, capacity and risk. This is even more pronounced as the value of the tender increases where other factors such as Local Benefits and Ethical Supplier Thresholds play enlarged roles in the evaluation. In some circumstances, price can be as little as 15% of the total evaluation score. If you have done any recent (last 2-3 years) consulting to Government or the private sector in either State, you would know that.

    Bob
    #3589029, posted on September 18, 2020 at 8:32 am
    As someone who has “sold to government” at all levels over many years, let me assure all that this course is a waste of time. With government RFPs, the fix is always in from the start, 100% of the time. I’ve witnessed the winks & nods, the deluded belief that it’s a level playing field, and more.

    See above. “the fix is always in from the start, 100% of the time” Bullshit.

    If SME’s want to get a bigger slice of the pie, they need to engage a consultant to advise/prepare their RFT/EOI/RFP etc response. It is obviously a cost/benefit decision but you can be certain that large companies employ personnel specifically to refine their RFT responses and address the relative nuances of each tender.

  12. Rob

    Speedbox.
    The process does evaluate methodology, capacity and risk. Agree. The larger the RFT the greater these factors are weighted (please have pity on the SMEs competing for the small expenditures i.e. sub $150K). Yet economic considerations are weighted heavily in the final selection regardless of expenditure size, a fancy way of saying there’ll be be a ‘final negotiation‘. By the way what happened to risk and capacity considerations in the Sydney Light Rail project? A fine mess that turned out to be. And since you write of Local Benefits and Ethical Supplier Thresholds, is this the same panel screening set-up that delivered the security contractors to manage Melbourne’s quarantine?

    In very rare circumstances the price component of the evaluation criteria is 15% but just so readers understand it’s usually a multiple of 3 or more. Oh if I were so lucky to be the equivalent of say a CIMIC competing for a billion dollar infrastructure project but remember we’re talking about a UTS course for SMEs. Even if it’s as low as you say, evaluation panels and review boards struggle to define value. Fundamentally it’s a master-slave relationship and a process designed to protect the arses of their political masters. You will know this.

  13. Speedbox

    By the way what happened to risk and capacity considerations in the Sydney Light Rail project? A fine mess that turned out to be. And since you write of Local Benefits and Ethical Supplier Thresholds, is this the same panel screening set-up that delivered the security contractors to manage Melbourne’s quarantine?

    I can’t explain either outcome other than to say they are both so far off the reservation as to be on another planet. Although, the Melbourne quarantine contractor was probably appointed from a Panel and the Local Benefits test was politically applied rather than being properly considered. Beyond that, the ’emergency’ power was utilised because, as I understand it, only 2 quotes were obtained prior to appointing the successful contractor (who, it turns out, had no resources or other capacity to deliver – but they were partially indigenous owned). I would love to sit on the probity enquiry for that one!

    Separately, the contract management aspects for both are just…… I can’t describe how inadequate (and potentially criminal) these matters were handled.

    Even if it’s as low as you say, evaluation panels and review boards struggle to define value.

    Then they shouldn’t be appointed. (ok, easy to say). But this isn’t rocket science – value for money, taking into account a potential galaxy of considerations is not some ‘black art’. The principles have been known for a long time and in the past 10 years have been pushed by most Governments and probably close to 20 years in the private sector. (The shift away from “price only” and the introduction of tools for more precise evaluation according to the business requirements became noticeable in the private sector about 20 years ago).

    Strangely, despite that shift, contract management was still the ‘poor dumb cousin’ of the overall procurement function despite much greater reliance on contract management to achieve the required, and contracted, outcome. The evolution of contract management has been relatively much slower than that of the procurement process. Similarly, probity has been very slow to get noticed but that has changed considerably in the past 4-5 years (and is accelerating).

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