Let’s agree on one thing: the new VGPB goods and services policy looks daunting. It’s unlikely that many VGPB expansion agencies will be currently compliant with it and getting there is a complex and sometimes confusing process. However, there’s no denying the benefits this policy can bring to your organisation.
It’s important that this process isn’t viewed as a box-checking exercise. Firstly, it’s too easy to work quickly through the process, marking off steps and writing policies which in theory meet the requirements but in reality are not achieving the benefits. This focus on doing it well should be a priority as the underlying ethos of the VGPB policy drive is to help you deliver faster and more efficient procurement activities as well as targeting those massive cost saving opportunities that are likely on offer.
If executed properly, getting compliant with the VGPB will give you a more efficient procurement function that will save you money and provide your organisation with a higher level of risk protection. Of course, ‘executed properly’ is the sticking point. How do you know if you’re going about this the right way?
Comprara is your second set of eyes
For many in government organisations, this type of process will be a first. For us at Comprara, it’s what we do every day. We work extensively with Victorian Government Departments and VGPB expansion Agencies. Our first piece of advice, always, is that spend analysis and a complexity assessment are the backbone for your decisions to implement the VGPB policies correctly.
This is our bread and butter. We work alongside you, analysing and helping to develop a procurement strategy, so when the government asks, ‘What is your strategy for procurement over the next three years?’, you’ll have the right answer. We can streamline the process, make it more economical and provide truly actionable insights.
Broadly speaking, getting compliant is a three-step process. Let’s take a look at what’s required of VGPB expansion Agencies and how Comprara can help.
Step 1: Spend Analysis
For a lot of VGPB Agencies, the first step isn’t easy. The spend analysis an organisation relies on is often built for financial reporting using its GL codes, which are not always aligned to the needs and wants of procurement. And that’s not taking into account that a lot of relevant data is often missing or coded incorrectly. To collect and reorganise your agency’s spend data can be a laborious and complex job.
At Comprara, we’ve built a platform that is underpinned by complex machine learning to perform spend analyses quickly and efficiently. Our spend analysis won’t just help you align to the VGPB policies, it’s also configured to take your data and make it actually useful for procurement. If you’re worried about spending money on a third party like Comprara to help you align with a policy that’s aimed at saving you money, think of the hours you’ve saved in just this first step.
Step 2: Complexity Assessment
The second step is impossible without a proper spend analysis. Briefly, a complexity assessment involves plotting your spend into four categories – strategic, leveraged, focused and transactional. Where the spend lands determines the process involved in procuring that item – including who is actually allowed under the new regulations to lead that procurement.
If the spend analysis isn’t up to scratch, the complexity quadrant won’t be properly plotted, which means the procurement processes put in place will also be inadequate. The government has deemed that all goods and services fall into one of these four categories. Each category comes with its own procurement process. For anything other than transactional, the buyer must also have a certain demonstrable procurement skillset.
Defining the correct complexity quadrants is something we can help you with and is typically delivered as part of our spend analytics package.
Step 3: Capability Assessment
The second step gives a clue to the third. For anything other than a transactional activity, the person doing the procuring must have a particular skill set. This is a legal requirement. Therefore, every VGPB agency needs to have a very good handle on the procurement skillset of its workforce. As it stands, most agencies are probably wondering how to cover the capability assessment requirements. And if you don’t know the skills of your staff, you can’t possibly be aware of the gaps that need to be filled to develop the required capability plan. If this isn’t addressed, agencies will have limited people in their employ capable of executing vital purchasing activities.
Once again, Capability Assessments are one of Comprara’s primary service lines. Using our proprietary platform SkillsGap Analysis, we’ve performed these types of assessments thousands of times. Because we work intimately with government departments and agencies, we also have government-specific knowledge evaluations. It’s vital that an adequate skills gap analysis is performed so you can not only show a plan as to how your staff will be properly trained but target your training budget to where it is specifically needed.
Download your free Checklist
Gaining compliance to the VGPB framework does look complex and confusing, but it’s more than likely you’ll already have some coverage within your organisation. The Comprara team has worked through these issues and understands not only how to bring you up to the right level of compliance, but also how to do it and save you money.
To get you started on this journey, we’ve put together a handy checklist so you can see what, when and how this needs to be done. Please download your free copy. We are of course more than happy to have a chat with you to walk you through this and explore how we might be able to help.