Procurement and meaningful feedback

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The project team ran a survey of our department (DISER) staff to understand their attitudes to and experience with procuring Indigenous suppliers. This was followed up by one-on-one interviews with staff and Indigenous businesses who had contracted or tendered to work with DISER.

Opportunities and insights

The research revealed 4 opportunities to improve DISER staff’s use of Indigenous suppliers and improve businesses’ experience with departmental feedback.

Building confidence

Helping staff to feel confident engaging an Indigenous supplier, outside of a panel process.

‘Leap of faith’

Supporting staff to reduce their anxiety in working with inexperienced but capable Indigenous suppliers.

Social impact

Influencing staff to prioritise social impact in the procurement process.

Meaningful feedback

Motivating and equipping staff to provide constructive and meaningful feedback every time.


The project team developed and tested solutions to each of these opportunities with DISER staff. Based on staff feedback, 12 solutions are recommended under 4 themes along with cross agency collaborative projects to improve the usability of Supply Nation.

Make it departmental priority

  • Consider Indigenous suppliers for all procurements
  • Executive promotion of Indigenous procurement

Raising awareness

  • Key messages about Indigenous procurement
  • Success stories
  • Track and share data

Growing staff confidence and capability

  • Training refresh (online and face to face)
  • Procurement toolkit refresh
  • ‘How to engage Indigenous suppliers’ guide
  • ‘How to provide feedback’ guide

Fostering connections with Indigenous suppliers

  • Indigenous Procurement Engagement Officer
  • DISER Supplier Open Day
  • Yarning Circle

Next steps

An internal policy that DISER staff must consider an Indigenous supplier for procurements of any size, where possible, was endorsed by the Executive Board in October 2019 and took effect on 1 July 2020

Other solutions will be released in line with the policy change or piloted by the end of 2020.