Transport for NSW awarded highest level Procurement Accreditation

Transport for NSW awarded highest level Procurement Accreditation
The Client: Transport for NSW, NSW Government

In 2011 the NSW Government introduced its Scheme for Goods and Services Procurement Accreditation (the Scheme). It aims to decentralise procurement, empower agencies and cut red tape while ensuring that procurement is undertaken where subject matter skills and knowledge reside.

Under the Scheme, an Agency is accredited at a certain level based on its procurement capability. Accreditation allows the Agency to procure goods and services independently from the Department of Finance and Services.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is responsible for transporting millions of New South Wales citizens across the State every day and as such is a high profile cluster within the NSW Government. The cluster aims to create a truly integrated transport authority, which drives better outcomes for the NSW community.

TfNSW’s procurement responsibilities have increased following the establishment of Transport Shared Services (TSS) in 2012, which conducts cluster-wide sourcing for an agreed portfolio of categories. TSS Procurement Services Group is responsible for managing $1.6B of expenditure on behalf of the transport cluster and has a team of 120 procurement practitioners and 60 accounts payable staff. This makes it a significant buyer of goods and services within the NSW government.

Grosvenor was engaged to undertake the accreditation of the procurement function of TfNSW under the Scheme.

Between October and December 2014, Grosvenor reviewed TfNSW’s procurement function in the following areas, using the Scheme’s 420 evaluation criteria:

  • strategy
  • governance, control and policy
  • procurement process
  • procurement tools and systems
  • information management and reporting
  • organisation and people.

As Grosvenor had previously undertaken the accreditation of four other NSW state agencies, we appreciated the effort and time TfNSW had invested into the accreditation process and its desire for these efforts to be recognised by the Scheme. We were also aware, that accreditation projects create uncertainty for project teams and interviewees. Grosvenor considers our role to be that of a partner in the accreditation process, rather than that of an auditor undertaking an assessment. As such, we engaged in open discussions, shared preliminary findings with TfNSW and identified where additional evidence could secure a higher score for a given criterion.

“Thanks again for your collaborative approach. I would certainly recommend Grosvenor … to other agencies seeking accreditation or looking for general procurement consulting.” – Transport for NSW

To assess the appropriate level of accreditation and to understand how TfNSW could improve their procurement function, Grosvenor reviewed extensive documentation and interrogated TfNSW’s procurement data:

  • analysis of TfNSW’s procurement procedures
  • analysis of documentation for six high stakes procurement projects
  • analysis of better practice, based on Grosvenor’s understanding of high performing procurement teams.

We tested and supplemented our initial understanding of the documentation provided in a series of interviews with more than 25 TfNSW procurement stakeholders, including the Chief Procurement Officer, the TSS Leadership Team, six Category Managers, and six project managers as well as high profile procurement practitioners.

TfNSW was awarded the highest level of accreditation by the Department of Finance and Services, following our review.

This ensures TfNSW’s standing within the Transport cluster and that most procurements can be completed without the involvement of any other agency. We have further identified opportunities beyond the Scheme for TfNSW to establish themselves as a leader in procurement.